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A Positive That Has Come Out of Covid

There are some positive things that have emerged from the stay-at-home order.  Music in the home is one.  In times before TV and movies “Haus-Musik” was a very popular tradition.  People would gather in their parlors, aka living rooms, to make music together.  Everyone played an instrument of some sort.  Even young children would be included.

Though music lovers have been unable to attend live concerts during the pandemic, and musicians have had no opportunities to perform together in person, a positive outcome of COVID is that people of all ages are discovering or rekindling a passion for making music at home.

The market for music products has surged in sales of some instruments.  Amid the atmosphere of anxiety on so many fronts, people are returning to music-making as a welcome respite.  Many adults are picking up retired instruments that they learned to play in school when music was part of the curriculum for all children.

It is no secret that playing an instrument requires concentration and total absorption and increases brain power in children.  It also is valuable in retaining memory, so its benefits span all age ranges.  According to John Rapton:  “Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better.  It can also improve long-term memory and lead to better brain development for those who start at a young age.” (https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/the-benefits-of-playing-music-help-your-brain-more.html#:~:text=Science%20has%20shown%20that%20musical,start%20at%20a%20young%20age.me moment)

Music offers a special place, away from words and the crush of online information around us.  In practicing music, which is in essence a solitary endeavor, one “finds oneself.”  Then one can come together with other musicians to make music together. For those in the same family this has meant interacting without words in ways that build a special experience of working “in harmony” towards a common goal. It is connecting through music.

Music expands our world, opens other dimensions and transports us to another realm.

Will Ferrell And Kristen Wiig’s Bucolic Lakefront Craftsman From ‘A Deadly Adoption’ Is Up For Lease

By Lindsay Blake

It is not very often that a lakeside residence hits the market in the Los Angeles area, but a gorgeous Pasadena Craftsman with just such a setting has come up for lease! And it’s a filming location to boot, with a resume teeming with the names of several big-name stars, including Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig who called the place home in the 2015 Lifetime movie “A Deadly Adoption.”

Offered at $16,320 a month, the 5,100-square-foot property sits on the northern edge of Johnston Lake at 1260 La Loma Road in Crown City’s San Rafael neighborhood.

A true hidden gem, most Los Angeles and Pasadena denizens have likely never heard of Johnston Lake. Named in honor of Alexander Campbell-Johnston, who purchased the three-acre basin as well as the 2,300 acres surrounding it in 1883, the lake sits tucked away from prying eyes behind oleander hedges and tall oak and sycamore trees. Off-limits to the public, it is currently managed by the Brookmere Association, a private group of 18 homeowners who live along the waterfront.

To read the full article visit their website here.

Bidding Wars

The market is sizzling hot and it’s making it very tough for buyers.
Here are some tips on how to handle bidding wars. Before jumping into the frenzy, understand the process and how to play.

Valentine’s Day Quotes 2021

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Valentine’s Day is very special to me

It is a holiday for all of us, no matter where we live, where we come from or what we believe. Valentine’s Day celebrates love and love makes life worth living, it brings out kindness and understanding.

Wishing you a special day with moments that make you feel loved and appreciated.
These are some favorite quotes. Perhaps one will tickle your heartstrings.

If I could be anything in the world, I would want to be a teardrop because I would be born in your eyes, live on your cheeks, and die on your lips. Mary, Queen of Scots

Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. Madame de Stael

Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.  Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.             Henry Van Dyke

Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence.  Vincent van Gogh

You come to love, not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. Sam Keen

Never ignore a person who loves you, cares for you and misses you, because one day you might wake up and realize you lost the moon while counting the stars. Anonymous

There is no remedy for love but to love more.  Henry David Thoreau

Distance is to love what wind is to fire: it extinguishes the small but ignites the great. Roger de Rabutin, Count de Bussy

Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.                              H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  The Bible,NIV

The first duty of love is to listen.  Paul Tillich

Love is like the wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.  Nicholas Sparks

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.   Friedrich Nietzsche

Love is when someone doesn’t care about your past because they want to be with you in your future. Unknown

It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone you have loved. Anonymous

Love creates an us, without destroying a me.  Leo Buscaglia 

A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you. Elbert Hubbard

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.                     

The one thing we can never have enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough of is love. Henry Miller

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

I love thee with a love that shall not die, till the sun grows cold and the stars grow old. William Shakespeare 

I don’t need the stars in the night, I found my treasure. All I need is you by my side, so shine forever.  John Keats

Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.                   Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 

Distance is to love what wind is to fire: it extinguishes the small but ignites the great.  Unknown

The course of true love never did run smooth. A Midsummer Night’s Dream              Willian Shakespeare

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Now in the second week of 2021, how are you feeling about this New Year? In terms of real estate, there is a lot on the horizon.

2020 will go down in history for a pandemic that changed the world. It is also changing where and how people live. Remote working has proven to be successful for businesses and this trend is here to stay. People now can move further away to get more affordable options allowing them to buy bigger houses with bigger yards and a remote office space for them to work.

Most people moved relatively close to their current location with the suburbs gaining most movers during the pandemic.

So how did that look for Los Angeles County? We see people moving out of some of the country’s more densely populated areas and relocating to the “suburbs.” This includes communities like Altadena, Pasadena, Sierra Madre and La Crescenta as well as further out to communities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Trends Point To A Thriving 2021 Real Estate Market

Despite elevated unemployment and weaknesses across the broader economy, the real estate market weathered 2020 with surprising strength. Consumer confidence is rising, historically low interest rates continue to drop and we’re seeing competitive offers across price points. All of this, combined with the arrival of the COVID vaccines, paints a rosy picture for the 2021 real estate market.

Closings and home prices are at record-setting highs.

According to the California Association of Realtors, we just closed out the month of November with the highest level of home sales in nearly 15 years. “This was also the first time existing single-family home sales rose above the $500,000 benchmark since January 2009.”

What’s more, prices continue to rise by double-digits annually. This amidst competing, multiple offers, and with very little by way of price discounting.

 

Pending sales are also driving confidence.

In addition to the strong closings numbers, pending sales remained above 2019 levels by double digits again last month. “As a result, home sales, which were already 1.3% higher than last year through the first 11 months, are likely to rise above 2019 levels even more (in December).”

As a result, the C.A.R. is revising its 2021 forecast, predicting sales will be up by mid-single digits next year.

Historically low interest rates are driving demand.

According to the latest Freddie Mac survey, “Rates hovered at the all-time low level of 2.71%” for the second week in a row. And these low rates are paying dividends. First time homebuyers are entering the market at the highest level in a decade.

Low rates of course are also enabling work-at-home buyers to expand their housing choices, both spatially and geographically.

Showingtime.com’s index of private showings provides further proof of the incredible demand in the market. California is “more than 92% ahead of the pre-pandemic peak, and more than 155% higher than during the same point in 2019.”

Encouraging news out of Washington.

Several key programs are set to expire as relief talks resume in D.C. Although the details are still being finalized, there is likely to be an extension of expanded unemployment benefits, more small business loans, and perhaps most importantly, rental relief. All of this will serve to stimulate the economy writ large in 2021.

In short, historically low interest rates make this a uniquely advantageous time to buy, and incredible demand makes this an optimal time to sell. The real estate market is strong, and there’s every reason to believe that will continue well into 2021.