Things to know when Buying or Selling a Condo in Santa Monica

There are so many things to look for when making a purchase or selling  your home. Aside from location which is very important; Are you on a quiet street? Does your home have good exposure? Is the school district the school you hoped for, etc.  Once you have found  or are ready to sell your home; What is the status of the homeowners association? What are the reserves? Are there pending repairs, assessments or litigation? Are the records up to date?

The specific criteria noted below is important for obtaining on loan a condo purchase or on the sale of your home if it is part of a homeowners association.

1. Has the builder turned over control of the HOA to the homeowners?

2. Is there any pending litigation against the HOA or builder?

3. What percent of the total units are primary residence or second home vs. non-owner occupied?

4. Are there any special assessments currently outstanding for the HOA?

5. Does any individual own more than 10% of the total number of units?

6. What percent of the units are delinquent in their HOA dues?

7. Does the commercial square footage exceed 20% (for mixed use buildings)?

8. Be sure to obtain HO6 insurance at the beginning of escrow.

I can help you make sure you are safe in your purchase and prepared for a smooth closing. As a Santa Monica real estate  expert I can help you with your search and make sure you are making the right decision when reviewing the condos status. I can help you to get your home ready for sale, get it sold and complete a smooth sale without any surprises.

Be sure to check out my website  for Market Conditions in your neighborhood.

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Santa Monica Condo Market for March

As of March 23, the Santa Monica condo market has 117 active listings, as well as 85 in escrow! Twenty-three (23) condos sales have closed this month so far… Wow!

These numbers represent the entire condo market of Santa Monica. The highest list price so far for March has been $5.9 million for the front Penthouse unit at 515 Ocean Avenue, also known as Park Plaza. There is also a townhouse in escrow at the desireable Sea Colony Townhomes for $2.1 million… not bad considering a recent sale in the same complex for $2.6 million.

These Ocean Park homes don’t come on the market often and depending on how much ocean view there is, it definitely will influence the price. Of course, these are outstanding townhomes across the street from the beach, in a gated community and only 1 block to Main Street and the Farmers Market.

Many Santa Monica homes are now selling with multiple offers, higher than the last closed sale which poses an interesting situation for the appraisers.  If you are thinking of buying, now is the time to get prequalified so you’re ready when it comes time to make an offer.

Also, you should try to see as many homes as you can, so that when the right home comes up you have a good idea of value.  Then, if you need to make an offer over the asking price, it makes sense to you.

The best Santa Monica neighborhoods to consider are Ocean Park, Sunset Park, North of Wilshire and a small amount of condos in the north of Montana neighborhood, mostly near Ocean Avenue.

As always, I’m here to help you with my 23 years of sales in the Santa Monica area, having spent my entire life here. We can find exactly what you need!  Call me or email me today and let’s get started!

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Homes Are Selling Again in Santa Monica

Spring is here and  I am pleased to report that real estate in Santa Monica and the Westside is BACK!

The number of homes for sale in Santa Monica that have gone into escrow has doubled from January to February.

With the available inventory of condos in Santa Monica at the lowest point in the past twelve months, many Sellers are once again entertaining multiple offers.

Properly valued homes are closing at prices that are higher than the last comparable sale.

With interest rates at historical lows and surging demand, prices will surely go up from here.

Take a look inside to see what homes are selling in our neighborhood.

Call me today!

I will be happy to provide a free personal ap­praisal of your home or answer any questions that you may have.

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BRAND X- Santa Monica Annual Drive-in at the Pier

Pack your beach chairs & blanks and bring the family out for a free Movie Drive-in style! Beginning June 3rd through June 24th (Recurring weekly on Fridays) Screenings will take place on the Pier Parking Deck w/ several booths, giveaways, and fun, fun fun for everyone!!!
On June 3rd the feature film will be “WHALE WARS” and FREE Whale Wars/Animal Planet beach towels to be given out to the first 1,500 in attendance!
The following Friday, June 10th, ISLAND OF OAHU CELEBRATION AND “50 FIRST DATES” will be screening. Get there early for FREE fresh-flower lei’s,and FREE Hawaiian edible treats.
The 3rd weekend will feature “JURASSIC PARK”! An all time favorite for everyone!!
And finally to kick things off on the last Friday of June they will screen – “Surf’s Up”.
For more information visit

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Santa Monica’s Pet Craze

We do love our pets here on the Westside, don’t we?

Have you noticed just how many pet-friendly shops, restaurants, hotels, spas, you name it, that we have here lately?

It’s amazing!

Never let it be said that we don’t offer our “furry family members” the best gourmet food, pampering, adorable clothing options and facilities to play until their hearts are content!

You can find lots of pet-friendly links right here:  Santa Monica Pet-Friendly

Also, don’t forget to get your dogs licensed.  You can call (310) 458-8594 for more information about licensing if you need it.

Have a great weekend,


p.s. Don’t forget to visit my website at for best Westside property deals around!

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Where Do You Go For Santa Monica Happy Hour?

After a long day’s work, where do you go after work?

For me, it depends.

But, there are some great little spots to meet your friends if you’re up for it!

Whether you feel like hitting Downtown/Third Street Promenade, Main St, Mid-City, Montana Ave, Ocean Park Blvd, Pico Blvd or the Santa Monica Pier/Ocean Ave area, you will not be disappointed.

I found a great list of places to check out right here:  Santa Monica Happy Hour

Have a great weekend!


p.s. Santa Monica Condos and Lofts

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Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA Show in Santa Monica

Cirque du Soleil KOOZA - Santa MonicaSanta Monica will be doing lots of different cool events over the next months in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Santa Monica Pier, but one of the COOLEST events for me is having Cirque du Soleil performing from October 16th to December 20th at the 1550 Lot just north of the Pier itself.

You can read more about it here at and you can check out the KOOZA website at this link:  Cirque du Soleil KOOZA

Hope to see you there!

Have a nice weekend,



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Home Prices Have Hit Bottom?

Home Prices Going Up?Hmmm… Here’s an article that I came across this week stating that “we’ve hit bottom and home prices are now recovering”… Recovery Signs in Housing Market Stir Some Hope

Again, I will say, Hmmmm….

I would love to believe these words, but I personaly feel that it is still too early to tell from one report printed this week by those that very well may be manipulating the data to move sentiment among those that are getting very discouraged.

Not sure.

But, either way, “across the nation” really does not reflect what’s going on here in Santa Monica or the Westside.  Yes, we are seeing some price adjustments moving between 5% and 15% lower than the seller’s asking price, but nothing (thank goodness!) compared to some markets around the U.S. that are nose-diving to 50% below asking price.

Again, I will repeat what I always say, and that is that our location and unique luxury features within Santa Monica and most of the Westside have continued to hold their value over time (even throughout this housing crisis) and remain a premier destination that the right buyer will pay a premium for…

If you’re concerned about listing your home and not receiving what you feel it’s worth, give me a call and we can discuss my killer strategies to get your home the best exposure available in front of very qualified buyers.

No worries, there is definitely still movement out there in the market, albeit slower, but nothing too too discouraging (just yet)!

That’s it for this week…

Have a good one,


p.s.  Tracey Hennessey Westside Real Estate

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Expensive Homes Are Still Selling in Santa Monica!

Multi-Million Dollar HomeIf you think that people have stopped buying expensive homes because of this recession, you need to think again.

Ok, sales are not “through the roof” like they have been over the past few years, they have slowed down, but there are still a lot of homes selling out there in the $5-15 million range, and even more in the $1-5 million range

Life is still “happening”, despite this recession and those with cash are like kids in a candy shop with the incredible selection that they have to choose from!

So, don’t be discouraged if you need to sell your home on the Westside, there are buyers, believe me… and if you are in search of a great new home in a place that you never thought you could afford, then you are definitely in luck.

If you are an investor… there are no words, other than “Have at it!”

Have a great weekend,


p.s.  Tracey Hennessey Luxury Real Estate

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The Make-A-Wish Foundation Is For Everyone

Make-a-Wish Walk 2009What a great turnout for the 2nd Annual “Walk For Wishes” event that took place last weekend right here in LA!  It raised $235,000 for the Greater LA Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant wishes for those children diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

I love the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have been an active volunteer for many years right here in Santa Monica.  It’s true what they say about the benefits far exceeding anything you’ve ever experienced when you become a volunteer helping these children.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please please let me know as we’re always looking for great people!

That’s it for this week!


p.s. awaits your visit! 🙂

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