June 07

Pacific Palisades Real Estate Market Updates Available.
James Respondek

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The ultimate guide to buying and selling homes in the Pacific Palisades

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With its hilly, oceanside location, access to fantastic outdoor recreation, and lively downtown district, it’s easy to see why many people fall in love with Pacific Palisades. This two-part guide is purposefully created to help you achieve your real estate goals in this stunning Westside LA neighborhood.

Click here to start your journey:

BUY A HOME IN PACIFIC PALISADES | SELL A HOME IN PACIFIC PALISADES

BUYING LUXURY HOMES IN PACIFIC PALISADES

Having a home in the Pacific Palisades means waking up to salty air, making coastal vistas a regular part of your day-to-day life, and being a part of a small and tight-knit community. While it is by no means Malibu, the Pacific Palisades is a beautiful alternative to anyone who wants to swap busy city living with a quieter lifestyle by the sea.

The market for buyers

The Pacific Palisades is divided into several smaller neighborhoods, but that doesn’t translate to a variety of property types available. Approximately 10% of the local housing inventory is composed of low- to high-rise condos (generally located in the lower Santa Ynez Canyon area), while the rest of the market consists of single-family residences in a wide selection of sizes and architectural styles.

Another important characteristic of note is the average age of homes in the Pacific Palisades. Built between the 1940s and 1970s, many residences in the community are what we would call “older and established.” But with age comes interesting histories and provenance. You might stumble upon a former celebrity home or an architecturally significant property during your home search. Buyers who are specifically looking to invest in historic real estate may even find homes built before the 1940s on the market occasionally.

Important numbers to remember as of January 2024:

  • The average home value in Pacific Palisades is $3.5 million, which represents a 3% year-on-year increase.
  • The median listing price as of date hovers around $4.5 million, while homes currently on the market have list prices ranging from $249,000 to over $40 million.
  • At present time, the Pacific Palisades real estate market is considered balanced, offering opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
  • You might be able to score a good deal, as homes sold recently in the Pacific Palisades sold for 1.03% less than their asking prices.

Homebuying essentials

Buying luxury homes in Pacific Palisades is a relatively straightforward and flexible processthat you can edit depending on your personal circumstances. But make sure you have the following essentials arranged before you jump into the home search.

Mortgage pre-approval (or cash on-hand)

Whether it’s your first or fifth time to buy a home, you should have already made the necessary financial arrangements to proceed with the transaction. Doing so will pave the way for a smoother homebuying experience and possibly even a speedier sale.

  • If you intend to take out a mortgage: Get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping for luxury homes in Pacific Palisades. You’ll be given a pre-approval letter by your preferred lender; this document states the type of mortgage and the amount you qualify for.

    Getting mortgage pre-approval takes about 7 to 10 days on average. As for the validity of pre-approval letters, they commonly last for up to 90 days. If you still haven’t found a home you love within that time frame, you can request to have your pre-approval renewed. Do note, however, that mortgage pre-approval, validity, and renewal are all up to your preferred lender’s discretion.

  • If you’re paying in cash: You’ll still need to get a few things in order. First, make sure you have your proof of funds ready in case a seller –or their agent– asks for it. A bank statement or a letter from your bank will suffice. You can include this with your offer as evidence that you’re ready to make the necessary transfers should the sale proceed. Second, inform your bank about your plans to avoid getting your transaction flagged or even blocked.

Your chosen top neighborhoods

Don’t wait until the home search to pick the areas you like the most. Remember that several communities make up the Pacific Palisades; touring all of them and checking out homes for sale in those areas will eat up your– and your agent’s– time. Instead, include neighborhood research in your personal preparations.

  • If ocean views are a must-have, consider limiting your home search to neighborhoods that are known to have properties that feature such vistas. These include The Riviera, Castellamare, and Village Bluffs.
  • If easy beach access is a priority, visit seaside communities first to see what kind of luxury homes they currently offer. Sunset Mesa, Pacific View Estates, and El Medio Bluffs are some of the neighborhoods in the Pacific Palisades located close to the sea.
  • If you’re after a particular architectural style, the same sentiment applies. Certain parts of the Pacific Palisades are well-known for one or two styles.

    Castellamare, for instance, is a go-to for those who are in the market for European-style homes (from Spanish Colonial to Mediterranean). If Mid-century Modern is more your style, Marquez Knolls is worth considering; most properties here date back to the 1950s. Meanwhile, Traditional-style homes on wide lots are plentiful at The Huntington.

Being dead-set on one particular neighborhood helps, but have at least three to four communities in mind. This will leave you room to compromise. Finally, remember that there are over 10 neighborhoods located in the Pacific Palisades. To make your home search easier, it’s highly recommended that you have…

A luxury buyer’s agent by your side

… Preferably one who specializes in the Pacific Palisades real estate market. You won’t have to parse through online listings to find out which neighborhoods are aligned with your personal parameters. Just let your agent know your budget and what you want in your home; they’ll return with recommendations and even homes to check out.

But narrowing down your home search isn’t the only benefit of working with a luxury buyer’s agent. Click here to learn more about what they can do for you.

Commitment to home inspections

If there’s one step in the homebuying process that you should never, ever skip, it would be home inspections. Whether you’re purchasing an older home from the 1950s or a brand-new construction, a home inspection will help guarantee that you’re making the right investment. Furthermore, it reassures you and your household that the property is structurally sound and safe to live in.

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SELLING LUXURY HOMES IN PACIFIC PALISADES

Luxury homes in the Pacific Palisades are solid, long-term investments. Making a profit is almost always guaranteed should you decide to sell your property, regardless of circumstances. That said, there are several steps you can take to ensure a successful sale.

The market for sellers

One of the most important things to note before listing your home is the current temperature of the market. As it stands, the Pacific Palisades real estate landscape offers opportunities for both buyers and sellers. In short, local supply matches demand. As a seller, that can translate to a healthy amount of interest for your property. There is also the possibility of selling your home for a good price. And if you play the game right, you may even be able to close for more than what you originally asked for.

You can make your listing stand out from other homes in the Pacific Palisades by meeting buyer must-haves. According to surveys, upgraded kitchens can boost a property’s appeal and sell price. The same goes for improved outdoor living spaces, especially in a place like the Pacific Palisades. Many homebuyers found covered back patios, entertainment options, and outdoor kitchens desirable last year. It also doesn’t hurt for your listing to have near-unlimited storage capabilities and energy efficiency features.

Important numbers to remember as of January 2024:

  • Prices are on a downward trend in the Pacific Palisades. Although the median listing price was approximately $4.5 million by the end of December, 2023, that is also 9.3% less than the previous year.
  • The median sold price last month was $2.4 million. Many homes sold for 1.03% less than their original selling prices.
  • If you’re listing your home soon, expect to wait at least 70 days to sell and wrap up the transaction. But while average days on the market have been steadily increasing in the past few months, the numbers are still lower compared to the same time last year.

Home selling essentials

Selling a home, much like buying one, involves multiple steps that you can change accordingly based on your personal circumstances and your schedule. Whichever route you choose, don’t forget the following for a smooth-sailing sale.

An experienced seller’s agent

It’s true– you can sell the property on your own. But multiple studies over the years have consistently shown that tapping the assistance of an agent results in higher sale prices. For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) properties have a tendency to sell for less money.

Furthermore, a seller’s agent who specializes in luxury homes in the Pacific Palisades will help you connect to other agents and the buyers they represent. Should you wish to list and sell your property in a more discreet manner, a real estate agent can also help you sell your home as a pocket listing.

Clean and updated property

Before you list your property for sale, make sure that it’s prepped for it. Do a preliminary inspection to identify issues that need to be addressed. Some repairs might take a short while to fix, while others might need overhauls.

  • Upgrades are also something to consider if you would like to boost your property’s resale value. You don’t need to do a complete renovation; a few targeted improvements will suffice. Minor bathroom and kitchen remodels promise high returns on your investment, and so do landscaping improvementsand attic bedroom conversions. All aforementioned upgrades are tried-and-tested and typically result in 93% to 100% average returns.
  • Buyer behavioris another factor to ponder over when planning changes to your property. Your agent can provide you with some insight on what homebuyers today are looking for in homes, such as storage and expanded living spaces.

The right price

Looking at comparable sales and properties in your area is one of the best ways to determine if the figure you have in mind for your home is just right.

Seller’s agents usually prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for their clients to review. This report takes into account homes in your area that are similar to yours based on certain parameters, and how much they’re currently listed or the price they sold for. Getting your property evaluated and appraised by a professional can also guide you towards the right list price.

Do remember to be objective about pricing your home. There are other, better ways to show interested buyers how special the property is, such as home staging and incorporating stories into the listing description.

A marketing plan

How is your listing going to reach your target market? Sit down with your agent to discuss avenues where your property can be promoted.

  • The online routeis commonly used these days; it enables your listing to reach a wide audience, including out-of-the-country buyers. Your listing can be shared on real estate listing websites, as well as social media platforms (i.e. Facebook and Instagram). The best online listings have a set of well-taken photographs and engaging but informative descriptions. You can also go one step further by commissioning a website, which can act much like a pamphlet, only online.
  • The traditional route, although deemed by other people as old-school, can be just as effective as online real estate marketing. A “for sale” sign communicates to passers by that the home is, indeed, on the market. Casual homebuyers can turn into highly interested ones through pamphlets, as well as the occasional open house.

You can use traditional and online marketing methods to make your listing even more visible, especially in an in-demand market like the Pacific Palisades.

Complete and duly accomplished disclosures

As a seller, it’s your responsibility to provide a written disclosure about the property you have on the market. This is mandated by California state law. This disclosure should include any known defects about the property, as well as accompanying reports and proof that these issues have been addressed. Having these disclosure forms and statements ready can result in a speedier sale.

  • The Transfer Disclosure Statement covers various details, such as all of the appliances installed in the home and renovations to any deaths that occurred in the property within the last three years.
  • The Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement covers other forces beyond your control, such as whether the property is located in earthquake- or fire-prone areas, or if the home falls within the bounds of a special flood zone area. Your real estate agent, as well as the city or county government, can provide the information you need to complete this form.

You may also be required to make additional disclosures, which is why it’s imperative to be open and honest to your real estate agent about your property and its history.

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FULFILL YOUR REAL ESTATE GOALS IN THE PACIFIC PALISADES

James Respondek is easily one of the most recognizable names in the Pacific Palisades real estate market. A fixture in the local luxury housing landscape since 1979, James has overseen countless homebuying and selling journeys in this sunny locale, all of which combine to over $1 billion in total sales.

Now, James leads his own team– The Respondek Group – and is ready to see you through your very own real estate journey in the Pacific Palisades. Get in touch with James today at 310.488.4400 or email him here!