Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Corrugated Steel Shipping Containers Do Double Duty As Housing

Creative architects have latched on to the idea of recycling steel shipping containers to save on construction costs. While it's certainly cheaper, this isn't just some exercise in odd-looking green building, but an honest attempt to create stylish homes out of the ubiquitous steel boxes. We are using these in Long Beach.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Great tour of a new listing in the Wrigley area. Beautiful custom home. Almost a quarter acre lot. Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 1873 square feet. Take a look on my YouTube channel for other home tours as well!


If you have any questions give me a call at 562-882-1581.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Would You Go On a Job Interview Without Knowing What The Company Does?

Yesterday I was teaching a class of real estate agents and a very interesting question came up. The agent wanted to know how to give pricing information to his seller on the value of a home.

The seller thought that the home was worth $480,000, the agent stated that the home was worth $460,000. They had an offer for $470,000 that the seller would not counter.

I asked the agent why the seller thought the home was worth more. The agent stated that he saw the price on Zillow.

I then asked the agent if he himself had looked at Zillow? The agent stated "why would I look at Zillow when I have the recent sales from the multiple listing system". I replied “so that you might have a better understanding about the seller’s pricing thoughts”.

As a listing agent, my thinking always is that I want to see what the recent sales are that Zillow is using; usually they have a few sales on the site that they are comparing the  home to. The agent said “well I don't need that information, I have better information from the multiple listing system”.

This agent totally missed the point. In today's world it seems that no one wants to take that extra step to try and help or to understand where the customer is coming from. It is as If you went on a job interview and had the best engineering skills but no knowledge of what the company did; do you think you would get the job?

What the agent should have done was look at Zillow and any other consumer related real estate site before even going on the appointment or listing the property.

He should have had a conversation with the seller before an offer was ever received. If the agent and the client both have the same information then it will be a much smoother transaction. A good agent should always explain why the comparable sales on certain websites may or may not be a good match for their property.

Our job is to price a home to sell and get the most amount of money for the seller. My goal is that I always want my sellers to understand why that price is a good fit.

When I go on the job interview … AKA a listing appointment, I should know what that seller’s expectations are before hand. I then go with appropriate materials so we can discuss my job. My seller and I then have a much better chance of selling that home at its highest price.

Knowing my property inventory, past sales activity plus … understanding what the seller expects, are all key components to providing the best service possible.

If you would like more information about this process … please give me a call or visit my website.

562-882-1581 or


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When Is The Time To Buy?

     A few days ago I was sitting with a client writing an offer for a home in Lakewood. It was a three bedroom one bath on a nice cul-de-sac. The home was priced at $350,000. In the current rental market the home would rent for $2100. His payment with 10% down is $1950, that includes property taxes and insurance.
I loved the market ten years ago because I was working with these kind of numbers. The clients would sit down and discuss payment options with me and we would all wonder why more people were not buying homes. Why would you rent when you can buy for the same price? Maybe they didn't know? 
This equation does not even include the fact that as a homeowner you get a tax deduction. Homeowners get to deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes on the home. Call your tax accountant for all the information. That could make the above payment effectively around $1500.
 I also just sold a one bedroom condo in downtown Long Beach for $97,000 and the seller paid $3000 of the buyers costs. That makes a payment of  $950 with taxes and association dues. Find a one bedroom condo with parking three blocks from the beach with that kind of rent! 
Benefits of buying right now...low interest rate, payment that is very close to rent, tax deduction, and you are setting up a forced savings account for yourself. You are building equity in your own home as you pay down your loan.
Some people worry about job stability and being able to afford a house payment. You have to live somewhere, either pay rent or pay your own loan. If you did lose your job you can move in with friends and rent your home....its a great market when most of the homes that are available, will rent for the payment on them!
I have been in business for 23 years. I have seen the highs and the lows. I believe that the next few years will be great opportunities for home ownership.

If you are shopping for real estate in the Lakewood and Long Beach areas … visit to start your search. Make sure and check out the Market Insider section.

If you want immediate advice ... visit or call me directly at 562-882-1581

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Allison Van Wig Has Just Updated the Market Report for Long Beach & Lakewood Home Prices


ML_PIC_FOR_ADI have just updated my Long Beach and Lakewood market report for our local real estate markets.


Here is a QR code you can scan with your smartphone or you can visit  to get all the latest information on solds vs. listed prices.


QR code for mkt insider 90802If you need more information, please give me a call at 562-882-1581 or visit my website at

Allison Van Wig