Sales of new single-family homes jump 6.

Sales of new single-family homes jump 6.4% in April !


Feng Shui Staging Tips

Feng Shui is a philosophy that has been used in china for hundreds of years. Using Feng Shui in a home has been a popular “must” for common Chinese buyers lately, but many non-Chinese people have also began to appreciate the Feng Shui philosophy. Feng Shui which literally means “wind-water” promotes well being by rearranging how chi, or energy flows through the home. Now Feng Shui is a common philosophy used in the United States to appeal to potential buyers.

“Everything we associate with staging — from clearing the clutter to making the place smell good to sprucing up the entryway — are all feng shui strategies, she says.”(Terah Kathryn Collins, author of “The Western Guide to Feng Shui” ) A few strategic Feng Shui improvements can increase the value, emotional appeal, and marketability of your house and solve design and structural challenges, especially in a slow real estate market.   

1. Make your Entrance Inviting & Welcoming HGTV says “Energy enters your home at the front door, so invite it in! Make your door stand out by painting it a color that contrasts with your home, adding a new welcome mat and flanking the door with plants. Choose plants with rounded leaves as sharp leaves can appear aggressive.

  • Also, use a welcome mat that is fit to proportion with the door and frame the doorway with matching pots of red flowers or evergreen trees on both sides for extra attention.
  • Clear any trees or bushes that are blocking any windows or the front of the house, create and inviting path leading them into the house.
  • Keep Lawn tidy & trimmer

Ensuring that there are cohesive accents throughout the outside of your house is key for maintaining curb appeal. Check out this house's matching white trim and plant containers.        Pretty, inviting front door. Side Note:  houses with bright doors sell quicker. It's a fact.

2. First Impression The room of first impression is the most important room, it is where you want to direct buyers first. Have the directional flow of  the entrywalove the huge mirror on the floor...always makes a statement in a room w/out lot of other wall decory point buyers toward this “first impression” room, use a large center point artwork, or a rug that leads them to this room.

  • Use mirrors to reflect outdoor views.
  • If the “first impression” is the living room, place the sofa in the furthers point of the room, facing the entry, creating a “open-arms welcome to the buyers”. this tells the buyer to come on in!
  • You want the Positive Energy to move freely through the home, as well as the buyers. Arrange furniture so that when you walk into your living room, you don’t see the  back of a sofa.
  • Buyers usually decide whether they will buy a home within the first 8 seconds after they open the door.

3. Enhance the Bagua Areas | Furniture Arrangement

This is a little more abstract tip, but bagua is an energy map of space used in Feng Shui. In real Estate, their is the career, buyer, fame wealth, and abundance areas of a home. The buyer area would be located in the “first impression” room.

Food Picture - Apple Photograph - Kitchen Wall Art - Kitchen Decor - Bowl of Apples - Red, teal, rustic - Fruit, food still life 8x10.

  • ” To activate fame chi — the center rear of the house — add a fire element like moving a fire pit or BBQ grill to the outside center of the house, or have a bowl of fiery, red apples in the kitchen” (Sell Your Home With Feng Shui (AuthorHouse, 2007)).
  • Create good traffic flow to improve chi, you don’t want a potential buyer to run into the corner of a sofa, when they turn into a room, this will make them feel cramped and claustrophobic. If the back of a sofa faces the rooms entrance energy will bounce right out. “You want the positive energy” — and the buyers themselves — to be able to move freely through the home” says Jayme Barrett, author of “Feng Shui Your Life.
  • When choosing artwork keep in mind that, “Nature scenes are soothing and will relax the buyers,” Barrett says”. Make sure to also put away those personal family photos and religious and spiritual icons, says Barrett.

Abby M. Interiors: swanky living room inspiration 4. Feng Shui in the Rest Room

Keep all toilet lids closed, this seems like an obvious one but in Feng Shui this serves a different reason, “Water represents money and the toilet is the one place where water/money escapes,” Barrett says” ( Instead, “You can place a small tabletop water fountain either at the entrance or in the back left corner of the home, which is the wealth corner,” she says. “Moving water circulates prosperity energy throughout the home.”” (

  •  “Place thriving plants and flowers in the corners of the room,” Barrett says. That will “enliven the home and create harmony.”hanging plant holders
  • Don’t let energy down the drain | drains take energy from a room keep drains covered when not in use 
  • keep the bathroom door closed, if the bathroom is near the entrance of a home

5. No Clutter | Move furniture you spend the most time on away from beams or ceiling fans.

  • Remove clutter and depersonalize. clutter prevents energy from flowing through the room. Clear out knickknacks, and other personal items.
  • According to the principles of Feng Shui clutter robs a space of its Chi. 
  • suggests that, “Ceiling fans register to the reptilian brain as spinning knives overhead, and beams as a heavy object about to fall on us. Especially move beds, desks and favorite chairs away from under these, or remove the fans all-together (replace with friendlier looking blades) and cover the beams over beds with fabric”

6. Other Tips to Create good Chi

  • Put away anything with sharp edges, including any butcher-block knife sets.
  • HGTV suggests to stimulate your homes energy with sound by adding a wind chime to the front right corner of your house. This area of the home is considered the “buyers area” of the home.
  • A large mirror in a dining room reflects the food on the table and is very beneficial, as in effect, it doubles the amount of food available.
  •  A large red potted plant near the front door.
  • Books represent education and should be displayed.
  • A water feature in the foyer such as an aquarium or a fountain.
  • In the master bedroom, place a live bouquet of flowers.
  • Only use pairs in the master bedroom — two candles, two picture frames, etc.
  • Open all blinds, curtains, shutters and drapes. Light attracts good ch’i.
  • Make sure your home smells good, have fresh cookies baking in the oven. Or use inviting scents like apple or cinnamon.

This custom dining-room cedar table can seat up to 16 -- that's one big dinner party!   Attic book shelf; You could never do this with Kindles. Books as decorations. The a-frame is accentuated and the French doors open the space and make it one.

An indoor water feature for your home and adds modern style. Did you know installing a decorative fountain inside your home will benefit the local air quality? Its true. Never has there been a time than now to redefine the interior of your home. With so many styles


City Spotlight: Rancho Palos Verdes

Rancho Palos Verdes

 Why Move to Rancho Palos Verdes?

Rancho Palos Verdes is the largest of the four cities of the Peninsula, with 9500 acres and a population of approximately 45,000.  It is primarily at the southernmost end of the Peninsula and includes nearly 7.5 miles of unspoiled coastline.  Rancho Palos Verdes was founded on the principle of maintaining the low density of development which was being threatened and preserving as much of the beautiful open space as possible. A variety of residences throughout this city include both older and newer housing tract developments, multi-family condominiums and townhomes, charming cottages, and grand custom homes.

Gorgeous views can be seen from the cliffs of RPV

  • The Palos Verdes Peninsula is also one of the wealthiest communities in the country, as described in the Los Angeles Business Journal
  • Rancho Palos Verdes consists of 13.5 square miles, with 7.5 miles of coastline.



  • National and local headlines have trumpeted the opening of the beautiful Trump National Golf Course and clubhouse at the far southern end of the city, which hosts celebrity golf events and the annual Concours d’Elegance.
  • Rancho Palos Verdes is also home to Los Verdes Golf Course, a public county course which boasts stunning views of the ocean, Catalina Island and Los Angeles coastline.
  • From Point Vicente Lighthouse, to the rocky tide pools of Abalone Cove and Portuguese Bend, you’ll find delight in discovering the many facets of living life fully in Rancho Palos Verdes.
  • Currently along the bluffs at the former site of Marine land of the Pacific is the fabulous new Terranea Resort.  This tranquil 102-acre setting features an exquisite 400 room hotel, world-class spa, swimming pools, restaurants, and a limited collection of whole-ownership casitas.  For more information about this exciting development, please call me directly.


Terranea Resort

Trump National Golf Club

The 5 Money Making Advantages Of Multi-Unit Investing

by David Lindahl | REI Club

Having rehabbed over 470 properties in the last seven years and collected over 600 apartment units I’m often asked, how can I become wealthier faster investing in real estate?

While most investors concentrate on some aspect of single family houses, I was always interested in multi-units (apartments) first, and then single family homes as a means of getting more multi-units .

From the very beginning of my investing in real estate, I liked the idea that a group of people (the tenants in a building) would get together and pool their money to pay down the mortgage on a property, and I liked the idea that they would also pool their money together to pay for all of the maintenance work for a building.

I especially liked the idea that they would give an owner so much money that the owner would have a bunch of money left over at the end of every month that could be used to either re-invest, save or to go out and have a good time with.

Essentially, I like the idea that other people were willing to help make me wealthy. I liked it even more when I started using management companies to manage my properties and no longer had to have contact with my tenants.

I soon came to realize that I could also wholesale, retail, pre-foreclosure, rehab, subject to and lease option apartment houses as well.

I also realized that there were certain advantages that investing in multi-units buildings had over single families.

    • The first was cash flow. Cash flow on a multi-family is always greater than that of a single family. Simply because you have more rents coming in.The more units you have under one roof, the less risk you have. If you have a single family house and you lose your tenant, you’ve lost 100% of your income. In some instances, this could be your entire profit for the year. If you had a three family and lost a tenant, you still have two rent coming in to pay your expenses.
    • Economies of scale are in mulit-unit buildings. If you have six single family houses opposed to one six family, you have six roofs to be replaced or repaired, six lawns to be maintain, six tenants spread out through out your city or town.In your six family you have one roof, one lawn and your tenants are centrally located. Economies of scale are in your favor.
    • There’s a lot less competition than there are in single family houses. Why? Because no one is out there teaching how to do it and all the single family guru’s make flipping single family houses sound as easy as chewing gum in the dark. The smart investors put multi-units in their portfolios along with single family houses.
    • Because of the bigger cash flows, you can afford to hire management companies to manage your tenants, thus eliminating that hassle while you go out and do what you do best (or should do best), find and finance them.
  • Your pay days are a lot bigger when you finally sell your property. This is because an apartment complex cost more than single family homes, because of this they obtain a greater dollar amount of appreciation. For example, a $100,000 single family house will in a market that appreciates 10% will be worth $110,000 while a three family house worth $300,000 in the same market (10% appreciation) will increase to $330,000. That’s $20,000 more money in your pocket!

You’ve know a few people who have made a lot of money flipping single family houses, but if you think of the all the people you know who have become extremely wealthy through real estate, you’ll realize that they did it through owning multi-units (apartments).

These are the five biggest advantages to investing in multi-units, there are many, many more. If you are interested in creating more wealth at a faster rate, adding multi-unit to your portfolio is the way to do it!

The 10 Richest Small Cities In America- Rancho Palos Verdes at #9

Rancho Palos Verdes made the Movoto list @ #9…

They might be tiny, but these places make up for it with big bank accounts, fast cars, and more luxurious amenities than you can shake a 24 karat gold stick at.

We talk a lot about superheroes, cartoon characters, and even the occasional royal figure here on the Movoto Real Estate Blog, but most of the time we’re telling normal folks like ourselves where the best and safest places are to live.

Every once in a while, though, we wonder what life must be like for the 1 percent—what sort of places they live in, and what sort of things they need. It’s for that reason why we decided to turn our ranking prowess toward finding the enclaves of our country where the truly wealthy reside.

What we found is that, when it comes to small cities and towns, there’s none richer—in terms of actual wealth or things the wealthy enjoy—than Bethesda, MD. In the process, we also determined the top 10 richest small cities in America, which are:

1. Bethesda, MD 2. Palo Alto, CA 3. McLean, VA 4. Redondo Beach, CA 5. Menlo Park, CA 6. Lexington, MA 7. Brentwood, TN 8. Foster City, CA 9. Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 10. Laguna Niguel, CA 10. Hoboken, NJ

How We Made This Ranking

Even if you’ve read one of our Big Deal List rankings before, you’ll want to pay attention, because this one’s a little different.

In order to determine which small cities in the U.S. are actually the richest, we started with a list of 950 places with populations between 30,000 and 80,000 people according to the 2010 U.S. Census. We then ranked these places from 1 to 950 based on two categories: median household income and median home value, using data from the 2010 Census, with one being best.

The average of these two scores was used to determine the top 25 most wealthy small cities in the country. From there, we gathered further data on just these 25 places in nine additional categories we chose to encapsulate a truly rich place:

  • Really expensive fine dining establishments per capita
  • Really expensive clothing retailers per capita
  • Really expensive jewelry stores per capita
  • Luxury car dealers per capita
  • Country clubs per capita
  • Cosmetic surgeons per capita
  • Distance to nearest polo field
  • Distance to nearest yacht club
  • Distance to nearest private airport

For the first six criteria, we used business listings and only considered businesses actually located within city limits. For the last three, we used the distance to the closest field, club, or private airport by actual driving miles.

Each place was given a score from 1 to 25 in the individual criteria, with one being best. We then averaged these rankings together into an overall Big Deal Score, with the lowest score being the richest small city.

Now that you know how we put the ranking together, let’s take a look at the top places and how they fared across all these various criteria. You might want to grab yourself a top hat and monocle to wear while you read for optimal richness simulation.

9. Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

002   d

Country Clubs Rank 1 Luxury Car Dealers Rank 8 Polo Field Distance Rank 16
Really Expensive Fine Dining Rank 1 Really Expensive Clothing Rank 11 Private Airport Distance Rank 18
Yacht Club Distance Rank 5 Really Expensive Jewelry Stores Rank 11 Plastic Surgeons Rank 22

Six hours south of Foster City, but still located on the water, Rancho Palos Verdes is home to some of the Los Angeles area’s most prime seaside real estate. That explains its median home value of $973,900 in 2010, but its median household income of $119,778 is also sky-high. Residents can spend that money on fine dining like nowhere else, as Rancho Palos Verdes ranked first overall for hyper-expensive cuisine. It was also first for country clubs per capital and, owing to its coastal location, fifth for distance to the closest yacht club.

The Early Years: The Architecture of Rolling Hills

The Architecture of Rolling Hills

The structure of Rancho Elastico was typical of the early California ranch houses. When you drove from San Diego to the Coast highway to Monterey, the country was dotted with attractive ranch homes. It cost $4.00 per square foot to build an average home inRolling Hills in 1937.

I decided that all the buildings built in Rolling Hills would have a white exterior. They would fit in with the emerald green of the new grain in the spring, and would harmonize with the bare earth after the hay was baled in the Fall. If they were white we would not have the problem that some communities with a high architectural standard had come up against – and that was that a fine architect would paint the exterior of the house a very subtle color. Four or five years later, the house would be sold and the new owner would decide to repaint that lovely, very subtle yellow house again. He did not have the expertise of a trained architect and could no show his painter the kind of a light yellow it should be – or he would decide that he would rather have a “motel green” exterior, and the first thing you knew the character of the neighborhood changed, for the worse. But if it was white, it was white. We painted our gatehouse, the first building erected in Rolling Hills white, and we said, “that is the color we approve.”

The roofs were to be of shingle or shake, weathered. We didn’t want red tile roofs. They are not harmonious in a neighborhood unless all roofs are red tile.

The homeowner could do anything he wished on the interior. Every ranchito had to be fenced with a three-rail, white fence. We, the developers, installed all the three-rail, white fences on the road frontage. The cost was included in the price of the land. All other exterior fencing had to be matching height and design, and white – but was paid for by the individual landowner. We, the land developers, planted roadside trees and shrubs. Because of the contour of the land, we could not put in uniform street tree planting, nor did we wish to. We did do roadside planting of trees and shrubs, using those trees and shrubs that would give the greatest effect and still be economical to take care of.

It is hard to realize now, when you drive through Rolling Hills, what it was like in 1936. You could stand at the Rolling Hills gatehouse and look toward Crest Road, and the only trees in sight on several thousand acres were those trees planted at Ranch Elastico, or away on the distant skyline, the trees around the Roy McCarrell houses.

Excerpt from, ” Rolling Hills: The Early Years” by A. E. Hansen