April 10, 2014 on 4:31 pm | In Fascinating Information, Of Local Importance, The City of Santa Monica says, Uncategorized, WOW | No Comments

by Jodi Summers

Santa Monica is a model city because we do things well. People enjoy our beaches, our arts and entertainment, our lifestyle. It’s an easy place to live. You get home and your cares drift out to sea. The world appreciates us.

2013 was another year of excellence for the City of Santa Monica. Relish this list of accolades, as our city is “commitment to excellence and professionalism in all facets of municipal government and civic life.”



* Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square – Project of the Year, American Public Works Association, Southern California Chapter

* Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street – Project of the Year, American

Public Works Association, Southern California Chapter

* Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street – Green California Leadership Award

Collections Operations Systems – Gold Excellence Award, Solid Waste Association of North America

* Advanced Traffic Management System – Project of the Year, American Public Works Association, Southern California Chapter

* Santa Monica Beach Restrooms – Award of Honor, National Concrete Masonry Association

* Santa Monica Beach Restrooms – Merit in Public/Civic and Sustainable Design,

National Concrete Masonry Association

* Marketing: Santa Monica’s Interactive Party Truck & Outreach Campaign – Silver Excellence Award, Solid Waste Association of North America


* Tree City USA – Arbor Day Foundation

* Big Blue Bus Administration Building – LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council


* Most Business-Friendly City – 2013 Finalist LA County Economic Development Corporation


* Santa Monica Youth Tech – 2013 Public Technology Institute Winner

* Local Voter Information: – 2013 Public Technology Institute Winner

* Be Excited! Be Prepared – 2013 Public Technology Institute, Web 2.0 Recognized

* Best of the Web – 2013 Center for Digital Government

* Citizen-Engaged Community Designation – 2013 Public Technology Institute

Top 100 Fiber Leaders – 2013 Broadband Communities magazine


* Financial Reporting – Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from

the Government Finance Officers Association



* SMFD “Stella the Dog” Rescue – Compassion Award from PETA


* CityTV – Two Emmy Award Nominations


* The Wellbeing Project – Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge

* Santa Monica Public Library – 5-Star Rating, Library Journal Index

* Annenberg Community Beach House – Best Beach Club for the People, Time Out Los Angeles

* Annenberg Community Beach House – Best Place to Swim, Argonaut Best of the Westside 2013

* Outstanding Recreation & Parks – Award Winner, California Association of Park & Recreation Commissioners and Board Members

* 1450 Ocean Camera Obscura Tracing 360˚– Big Draw Inspiration Award 2013

* 1450 Ocean Camera Obscura Plein Air Drawing – Big Draw Inspiration Award 2013




March 27, 2014 on 9:03 pm | In Buyers, Fascinating Information, For Your Purchasing Pleasure, Market Snapshot, Market Trends, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

edited by Jodi Summers

With home prices on the rise, investors are buying fewer homes. Investment properties made up about 22% of home sales last year, down from 24% in 2012 and 27% in 2011, notes the National Association of Realtors.

With fewer cash buyers out there, comditions have become far more favorable for owner/user familes/

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.






March 20, 2014 on 9:51 am | In Buyers, For Your Purchasing Pleasure, Problem Solving, Sellers, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Edited by Jodi Summers

Here is packing and moving made easy, courtesy of Unpakt –

Timing Your Move

- Spring or late fall are the best times to move;

- Avoid the first, last and middle of the month if possible;

- If you are booking a summer move, book at least a month in advance, for spring, fall and winter, book two weeks in advance;

- Consider the weather for your area!

Organizing Your Move

- Color coordinate with a designated colored sticker for each box based on the room it should land. The movers will know where to put everything when you arrive, so you don’t need to direct traffic. Alternatively, try giving each family member a color to keep belongings organized;

- Pack a box of “must-haves” separate with a change of clothes, toothbrush and basic toiletries. This way, you won’t be forced to search through boxes after a long day of moving;

- Keep like items together to alleviate time when unpacking.

- Keep important documents with you during the move to ensure their safety.

Saving Money on Your Move

- Declutter your home before you move to help eliminate moving unnecessary items;

- Read reviews – bad movers can cost more in the long run;

- Consider purchasing insurance to protect valuables you can’t afford to replace;

- Prepare a budget so you know what you’re willing to spend;

- Consider recycled boxes or rent plastic bins instead of purchasing new, cardboard boxes;

- Tax breaks – if your move is job-related, you may be able to deduct moving expenses depending on how you itemize your deductions;

- Measure twice, move once! If you can’t fit your couch, don’t spend money on moving it;

- Use as much luggage as you can – you can quickly fill duffle bags and suitcases with “don’t forget” items that could get lost in a box for days.

Moving With Children

- Pack up your child’s favorite belongings in one box

- Pick up some fun stickers and let the kids label their boxes

- Pack with your child in mind (pack necessary items you will need for your children in a separate box)

- Keep the kids away from the moving site (set up a play date/ask a family member or close friend to take your children to their favorite places)

- Unpack your child’s room first

And don’t forget to tip your movers for a job well done!


Unpakt (, a comparison pricing website and online booking tool for consumers searching for a moving company, allows consumers to plan and book a move in a matter of minutes. Create a home inventory, compare local moving companies, find the best deal and lock in a set price that will not change on moving day. It’s that easy. We hope you share the following moving tips with your readers! For additional tips, check out Unpakt’s blog. Unpakt also be happy to offer your readers a 5% discount on their next move. Let me know if you are interested in the below tips. I’ve also included some screen shots so you can see how Unpakt works. Thanks!

Is Unpakt as easy as it sounds? Yes. There are 3 steps:

Step 1: Tell Unpakt what, when, and where you’re moving. Create a home inventory and provide Unpakt with your current address, the address of your future residence, and the date you’d like to move.

Step 2: Compare prices and user reviews (from Yelp, Google, and CitySearch) and choose a top-notch mover. Unpakt will find you the lowest prices.

Step 3: Book Your Move & Relax

From there, you can book the move on-the-spot or save the search and revisit the booking process at a later date. A detailed inventory and Move Plan help ensure your price is LOCKED IN and will not fluctuate on move day.



February 25, 2014 on 9:45 am | In Buyers, Fascinating Information, For Your Purchasing Pleasure, Market Snapshot, Market Trends, Multiunits, Of Local Importance, Sellers, Statistics, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Here’s an interesting factoid to drop into your conversation. A total 344 residences in Santa Monica sold for more than $1,000,000 in 2013, according to the MLS. 230 of those properties are houses, 114 are condos. 37 of those properties are in Ocean Park.

In California, 39,145 homes sold for $1 million or more in 2013, up 45% from the year before and the best showing since 2007, as per to DataQuick information services.

In 2013, prices in Los Angeles rose 22%. Prices in Santa Monica and Ocean Park saw negative growth.

The MLS determined that in Ocean Park, a total of 99 properties sold – 28 single family properties, 61 condos, 10 multifamily.

As you would expect, the priciest single family home to sell was in the beach tract – the finely finished, steps-to-the beach property sold in June for $4,600,000. The lowest price was in the Borderline neighborhood.  713 Navy – a 760-ft, 2bed+1bath on a 2,123 sf lot, desperately in need of a remodel – priced @ $749k, closed in February for $795,000.

The Median sale price for homes in Ocean Park in 2013 was – $1,512,500.

In Condoland, OP13 saw 61 condos sold. The high was 2912 3RD ST #4, a luxuriously upgraded 3+3 penthouse that, “elevates beach-close living to dramatic new heights.” The bright and open design occupies the entire top floor and showcases lofty ceilings and an abundance of recessed lighting. It sold in May @ $969/sf

The big value 3101 5TH ST #14, a spacious 1+1 that sold early in the year for $260,000. This single story features large living room, patio and subterranean parking.

The median price for an Ocean Park Condo in 2013 was $690,000.

Ten income properties at a median sale price $1,613,500. The standout sale was

3014 4TH ST, which was on the market for the first time in approximately 65 years. This pink, Spanish style 8,100/sf trophy property building features. 21 units on a 15,499 lot sold for $4,350,000 in December.

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.




February 10, 2014 on 8:32 am | In Fascinating Information | 1 Comment

by Jodi Summers

Don’t you just hate driving around downtown Santa Monica looking for parking? A new automated garage, the kind of the future, is now being tried in Santa Monica. The “West Coast’s first automated parking garage” is moving cars around the UCLA Santa Monica Outpatient Surgery Center. Drivers can leave their cars at six bays, where a movable platform takes the car to a crane. The 8,000-pound crane then lowers the car onto one of six levels. Employees swipe their driver’s license or a badge to retrieve their cars, while the public will use a credit or debit card (the garage will open to the public when all the kinks are worked out). Usually the cars can be retrieved in two minutes and people seem happy with the system. “It breaks down sometimes, but when it’s working it’s really great,” according to one nurse.

One of the best aspects of the robot garages, other than never losing your vehicle or dealing with break-ins, is they hold more cars than a typical garage and can be built smaller.  West Hollywood and Chinatown both have automated parking garages in the works.


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