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Archive for the ‘Long Beach’ Category

Flip This House Logo

Are you flipping houses or condos for a living? Are you outgoing, opinionated and willing to share your flip team’s experiences? If you answered “Yes!” to these questions, you may be chosen for the next season of A&E TV’s next season of Flip This House.

Flip This House, A&E’s #1 rated lifestyle show, has been to Charleston, Atlanta, San Antonio, and New Haven. Which city will be next?!!

Steve Grant, a casting director from 813 Casting, sent us an email asking for our help in their search by posting the following to the Long Beach Living blog:

“813 Casting and Departure Films are conducting a nationwide search for the new cast of characters who will be featured on the upcoming season of Flip This House! Will it be your team? We’re looking for confident, charismatic, motivated and opinionated people who “flip” residential properties for a living. We want real-estate adrenaline junkies who love the high risk, high reward nature of their jobs and who are devoted to doing a great job! If you would like your team to be featured on the upcoming season of Flip This House, send an email to fth@813casting.com. Please include:

  • contact information
  • bios on you and your team
  • some reasons why your team should be the next to be featured on Flip This House!

Teams should consist of four or more people.”

Good luck and don’t forget to let Long Beach Living know if you’re chosen, so we can post a great blog about your team and up-coming programs featuring your flips. For more about the show

If you’re just thinking about the possibility of flipping houses, a great book that will thoroughly walk you through the entire process is Flip: How to Find, Fix and Sell Houses for Profit by Rick Villani and Clay Davis. The authors have flipped over 1000 homes and have recently written this manual with their formulas for success. It’s a great educational tool for all who are toying with the idea of flipping for profit.

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Crow’s Nest

This weekend, Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier will be the site of “Pier Daze” Seafood and Pirate Festival as part of the three month long Sea Festival in Long Beach. Saturday and Sunday, June 30 and July 1 there will be lots to do at the base of the pier located at the end of 39th Pl. near Ocean Blvd.

Saturday there will be a mock pirate invasion on the pier with a cast of actors attacking the pier and the  patrons on the pier will put up a mighty defense of their own. There will be a pirate costume contest and kids treasure hunt, too. Both days will have great seafood and barbeque available, bands playing on the beach and a kid’s fun zone set up in the sand.

Sunday at the Pier Daze Festival is the day for classic rock ‘n roll music while admiring the classic “woody” automobiles that will be on display. Sunday is also the day of the Pacific Open Water Challenge, which includes swimming races, kayak and paddleboard competitions and the “Canine Splash and Dash.”

For a full schedule of Pier Daze Pirate and Seafood Festival, click here.

Other events happening this weekend that are part of the Long Beach Sea Festival 2007 range from Beach Volleyball to youth tennis and include band concerts and Shakespeare at the Aquarium of the Pacific. 

For a full schedule of Sea Festival events….click here.

In keeping with the pirate theme, Musical Theatre West will be staging performances of “The Pirates of Penzance” beginning June 30th through July 15 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center located on the CSULB campus at 6200 E. Atherton St. For a full schedule of both evening and matinee performances, click here.

The Queen Mary will be hosing the L.A.  Wine Fest featuring more than 150 wines from around the world. From 2 to 6 P.M. Saturday and Sunday, June 30 and July 1, wine afficionados will provide information on their various wines and offer tasting. Tickets cost $45 at the door, $40 in advance or $70 for a 2-day pass. A prix-fix 4-course dinner will be served on the ship from 7 to 10 P.M. Friday, June 29, (reservations required.)

Looking for something a little more along the lines of “night-life?” Check out “VooDoo, the only Underground Burlesque Show” every saturday beginning June 30 at the basement Lounge located at 149 Linden Ave. downtown Long Beach. The show is sponsored by Pure Evolution Clothing.

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Cajun Accordian Player

Long Beach’s International Sea Festival kicks off this week with Thursday Night Twighlight Concerts in the Park followed by the three-day Bayou Festival, celebrating the music, food and culture of Louisiana. Featured live music will include Cajun, Zydeco, Bluesand Jazz. There will be plenty of daytime fune plus “N’Orleans at Nite.”

Bring your appetite because the festival will be serving up delicious Cajun, Creole and other cultural foods. Bayou Fest will have a full-on Mardi Gras parade, kids arts & crafts, dance lessons and so much more.

For a full schedule of Bayou Festival events, click here.

Sea Festival Events

June

  • Sinjin Beach Volleyball Collegiate & Youth Open – (Belmont Shore Beach Courts)  Collegiate -June 23, Youth -June 30
  • 9th Annual Shakespeare Festival – (Long Beach Aquarium front lawn) – Romeo & Juliet – June 23 – July 15.  Free to the public with pre-show festivities at 6:00 P.M. and performance at 6:30. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket or sand chair.
  • The Great Beach Treasure Hunt – Clues can be found in the pages of the Long Beach Press-Telegram newspaper. The Treasure hunt lasts for 10 days, with the Grand Prize hopefully being found on July 4th.
  • Pier Daze,Seafood & Pirate Festival – June 30 – July 1 – (Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier ) – Sample great seafood and BBQ, live music, a “real” pirate ship “attack” on the pier, and a limited number of Pirate ship rides will be available. Kids will love the treasure hunt, pirate costume contest and beach fun zone. There will also be a car show and much more.
  • Boys & Girls 14’s USTA National Open – (Billy Jean King & El Dorado Park Tennis Centers) – June 30 – July 4 – Nationally ranked junior tennis players from all over the U.S. will play against other up-and-coming juniors.

July

  • Pacific Open Water Challenge (Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier) July 1 – Features many of the sports that will be part of the Olympic Games in China including, 5K open swim, mile and half-mile swims, 5K run, Aquathon and Kayak/Paddleboard races and the ever popular Canine Splash & Dash (100 yd. swim and 1/2 mile run with your dog.)

Stay tuned for more info……..or go to the Sea Festival’s website for a full schedule of events.

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Food Festival

This weekend, June 27 and June 28, 2007, will be a great time to sample the delicious cuisine of many of Belmont Shore’s popular restaurants. From 5:30 – 9:00 P.M. you can stroll as you dine at Stroll & Savor on 2nd Street between Quincy Ave. and Bayshore.

Ticket books are sold for $10 and can be purchased this week at Caffe La Strada, Archibalds or Mail Boxes Etc. During the event, tickets will be available to purchase in front of Washington Mutual Bank on 2nd. St. You must have tickets for participating in the sampling of Shore restaurant’s wonderful and unique cuisine.

Other events taking place in the Shore this Summer include:

  • Family Fun Fest – Sunday, July 29th from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. between Corona and Nieto Aves on 2nd St. $5 will buy a child’s wristband that will allow them to spend the day romping in a bounce house, climbing a giant slide, face painting, sport demonstrations, games and more. Both the police and fire departments will be showcasing their vehicles and some of their special talents. Complimentary hot dogs will be provided by the Long Beach Fire Department.
  • Sidewalk Sale – Friday -Sunday, August 17th from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
  • Another Stroll and Savor – August 22 and 23 from 5:30 to 9:00 P.M.
  • Car Show – September 9, Sunday from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Over 700 pre 1975 classic cars on 2nd St. and 14 other side streets. One of the largest on the west coast!
  • 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off – Sunday, October 21 from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 P.M. – $5 wristbands will be sold in front of Washington Mutual Bank, which will allow you to taste all the chili entries and vote for your favorite. Live music will be performed (also in front of Washington Mutal.)

For more information regarding these events, go to the Belmont Shore Business Association website. 

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The Long Beach Junior Crew Girl’s took Cincinnati by storm at the Junior Nationals. The girl’s eight (eight on board rowing one oar each) took the lead within the first 500 meters and finished in a time of 7:08. They finished second in their first heat bringing them to one of two final races. With the second fastest time overall, the girls then won their semi-final and went on to win the trophy. Way to go, girls!

In a recent post titled Long Beach’s Best Kept Secret, I wrote about what a fun and challenging sport crewing (rowing) is and gave some information about the Long Beach Junior Crew Summer Camp, the L.B. Rowing Assoc’s Learn to Row program and the Pete Archer Rowing Center located on the north side of the Marine Stadium in Long Beach.

Also in Cincinnati, were the Junior Crew boys for a 2,000 meter race in a quad (four boys rowing 2 oars each.) Considering the fact that the boy’s team had only been put together two weeks before the regionals, it is quite an accomplishment that they qualified for the Nationals. At the Nationals, the guys qualified for the petite finals and ended up in ninth place in the nation. Great job, guys!

Although these trained athletes make it look easy, to row competitively they must train for at least two hours a day five to six days per week. Their very dedicated coaches, Bill Bader and Alfredo Montenegro, have a lot to be proud of and deserve a lot of credit for urging these althletes on to become National Champions. Kudos to the coaches!

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Arguement

“To each his own,” I say. Your perfect house is not mine, and vice versa. Now that the real estate market has shifted slightly to the buyer’s advantage in Southern California, I’m finding more buyers are dead-set on finding the “perfect house.” As house inventories rise in many states and communities across the country, buyers are now reciprocating what they went through in the past, when it was a seller’s market. They’re passing up the “less-than-perfect” homes and continuing to look for the ever-elusive “home of their dreams.”

When the slight number of homes on the open market was at a dirth in the 2003 – 2006 market, buyers were often left hanging out in left field as sellers were combing through multiple offers on their freshly listed homes. “You don’t have substantial dollars to shell out for a down payment? You’re not waiving the loan, appriasal  and home inspection contingency? Sorry Mr. or Mrs. buyer, you’re not even in the running for purchasing my home.”

Skip forward one year. Ah, yes.The tide has turned! Buyers are not settling for anything that is even romotely close to what their dream home is in their minds. That is, unless the price is considerably lower than what the home needs to “meet their standards.”

Sellers, forget about listing your home for higher than what you think it’s worth, just for negotiating sake! Buyers are walking right by homes that are over-priced. They won’t even go to see them let alone consider making a lower offer than the asking price. Hello! There is too much inventory on the market. They move on to the next home that is closer to their price-point and nearer to what their dream home would look like.

The way I see it, we’re at a stand-off between buyers and sellers in the So Cal real estate market today. Some sellers are not willing to be realistic with the price that their home should be marketed at. They’re still thinking that their home is special and stands out above the competition in the neighborhood. “We have to at least try to get our price,” they say.

This is the wrong approach to marketing a home in today’s market. In order to get top dollar in our current market, the seller(s) must be willing to do the following:

  1. Make all repairs that are known to you and man.
  2. Creat great curb appeal by planting seasonal flowers, have GREEN grass, and give your house punch to make it stand out from the rest on the block and your competition.
  3. Pack up all personal photos and items that clutter shelving, table-tops and counter space.
  4. Neutralize paint colors that may not appeal to the masses.
  5. Get rid of pet paraphenalia and pet odors.
  6. Maximize outdoor views and outdoor spaces to add the feeling of more living space.
  7. Make the entire home spotless, including: washing windows, scrubbing out the tub, power-washing decks, siding, etc.
  8. Remove excess furniture in every room to show the actual living space and size of each room.
  9. Return rooms that have been used for their purposes to the intended purpose of the room; ie. dining room used as an office.
  10. Clean up the yard; no toys, yard ornaments, or dead anything left hanging around to turn-off buyers.

Buyers, on the other hand, have to be able to look past some one else’s faux pas. In the beach areas of Southern California, there isn’t much new construction. Many areas, such as Long Beach, are land-locked. There is so little “new construction” unless it is going “up,”  as in high-rise condo projects.  It’s more of a reality than not, that buyers wanting to live in beach communities will have to consider purchasing  homes that were been built between 1920 – 1955. Some up-grades my have been made, but not chances are,  the entire home has not been completely refurbished. Buyers should be asking themselves these questions:

  1. Does the neighborhood and floorplan of the home suite my needs?
  2. With some paint and minor cosmetinc alterations, will this home suit my/the family’s needs?
  3. Is the price of the home comensurate with the condition and alterations that I would like to make?
  4. Is the yard the type of landscaping that I can realistically live with and keep up with?
  5. Can I offer less than the asking price and hopefully come to an agreement with the seller and feel good about my purchase?
  6. Can I realistically afford to make the improvements in the time-frame that is completely necessary for me to live in the home?

The big “Ah Hah!” is that, there is no PERFECT home. Not  with newly constructed homes or with existing homes. Period! There is always something that the you would change; do different; get rid of; turn into something else, if you could, once you’ve lived in the home for a while. That’s just the nature of our beings.  We live with something for a while, evaulate it, and then re-invent it.

My best advice is to work with a seasoned real estate agent, evaluate each home on the criteria above, and then have your agent explain the most recent, comparable sales (comps) to you. After that, make an offer that is best suited to the seller’s criteria for an acceptance with your goals in mind. (An experienced agent representing you will call the listing agent and discuss the details of the offer, including a lot of the fine points that the seller is going to be very picky about.) It doesn’t take much sometimes, to get sellers to see the light and for them to lower their price to accommodate an offer. If you, as a buyer, don’t put pencil to paper and write an offer, you’ll never know what the seller may have conceeded.

Cant find what you’re looking for in the neighborhood that you’re smitten with? I am somewhat of an Home & .Garden T.V.  junkie in the late evenings and on weekends. There is an excellent show on the H.G. network called “Hidden Potential.”  The show highlights 3 different homes that are not up to the buyer’s standards, but are below their price-point. The designer/architect shows buyer’s how they can re-create the space to make it their own, while staying within their budget. Great show! Too many buyers don’t have enough vision as to what the home ccould actually become when they put their own stamp on it. I say, GET CREATIVE! Look outside the box! Or at least learn to look for the “potential” of a home.

To buyers: There are so many fantastic homes for sale from many different eras. What would happen to these landmarks and historic mavens if nobody had vision to turn them into their own “perfect house?”  Look for the home’s best attributes where your criteria is concerned and figure out, with the help of your experienced agent, what you can negotiate on the price with the seller.

Sellers: Put your absolute best foot forward from day 1! The day your house goes active in the Multiple Listing Service (on the open market,) your home should be in primo condition. You want to WOW! buyers and leave them with the impression that they can move right in without doing anything to the home.

Everybody, can we just learn to get along in this housing market?

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rowing-at-sunset.jpg 

Looking for something fun and challenging to do this summer? A way to get some great exercise? Do you or your kids love the water? Want to meet some new people at the same time? Then head over to one of Long Beach’s best kept secrets, The Pete Archer Rowing Center at 5750 Boathouse Lane. 

Throughout the summer the Long Beach Rowing Association and Junior Crew are hosting “learn to row” morning camps for teans and evening classes for adults. Learn the basics in their recently remodeled gym on the rowing machine, commonly referred to as an “erg.”  Get the hang of actual oars out on the dock in a stationary simulated shell. In very short order you’ll be out on the water in a “quad” or an “eight” accompanied by a coach in a motor boat known as a safety launch. Too shy to learn in a group or prefer individual instruction? Boathouse captain, A.C. duPont, will work out personal coaching sessions for a very reasonable fee.

The sport of rowing’s history can be traced back to Egyptian inscriptions recorded in 1430 B.C. Venetian fetivals in the 13th century called regatas  included boat races. Races are still referred to as Regattas (with an additional “t.”) Today there are many regattas held across the U.S. for racers of all ages and skill levels.

The Pete Archer Rowing Center is home to the Cal State Long Beach Women’s and Men’s Crew, Long Beach Junior Crew and many former olympic and world rowing champions. There is even an adaptive rowing program for people with physical challenges. Rowing, or crewing, as it is often called by collegiate or high school-level athletes, is a wonderful team sport for all kids, although often overlooked in the shadow of soccer, baseball and other more popular team sports.

College crew teams often workout in the early morning hours when classes are in session; Junior crew or high-schoolers after school during the school year. Each of the collegiate teams and the junior crew have their own fleet of shells, ergs and coaches.

Summertime is the perfect time to expose your high school age son’s and daughters to this fantastic team sport. It’s always a great time for adults to get out and get going. Think of it as therapy with benefits! But before you head over to the boathouse to sign up, you might want to brush up on your crew vocabulary

Cruising around on Alamitos Bay after work. Fantastic! Meeting some very interesting amateur rowers like yourself. Stimulating! Melting some lbs. off your legs, abs, arms and tush….Big bonus! Staying for the gorgeous sunset over Marine Stadium….PRICELESS!!!

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