Stylish West Hollywood Condo

750 N. Kings Rd #225
750 N. Kings Rd #225

West Hollywood style is impeccably designed and meticulously maintained in this pied-à-terre.  It includes a Miele, Jenn Air, and Asko equipped kitchen, bamboo flooring, audio-visual setup, limestone shower w/ five head system, designer appointments and a stylish wall of tempered glass separating the bedroom from living room.  Enjoy an evening cuddled around the fireplace in this perfect hide-away in Los Angeles or take advantage of the shops, dining, and nightlife of nearby West Hollywood.

The Urban Parking Dilemma

This morning I woke to a message from a neighbor saying she was yelled at and threatened by another neighbor because she had parked on the street in front of the neighbor’s house.  She was concerned with the violence of the altercation and didn’t know what to do.  She didn’t want to elevate the anger by calling the police, but wanted advice.  Not being the best source for advice on specifically what to do in this situation;  I will share the ideas it did bring to mind.

bad-parking-7132531All houses (in Los Angeles) are supposed to provide covered parking, so I would like to remind everyone, we do have parking on our properties we are just not choosing to use it. (Most garages in my neighborhood are used as storage units, man caves or converted to rental units.) Considering our area was built up in the 1920s- 1940s many driveways seem to be too narrow to drive down, so there is that excuse not to use the garage. But it might be time for each of us to try consider a way to park on our own properties.

The spaces between driveways are meant to fit 2, I repeat 2 cars (in my neighborhood anyway). If we are all considerate not to block driveways, but pull all the way to the edge to allow more of our neighbors access to parking, we might alleviate some of the anger that comes from getting home from work and not being able to find a space near our own homes.

However, streets are for public usage. We do not own the spots in front of our houses. We all want to park in the spots closest to our houses. We all have that moment of annoyance when the spot in front of our house is taken. But these are public streets and people have the right to park on public streets. No one has the right to bully, harass, or threaten anyone in any situation, but especially in our own neighborhood. We all understand the frustration. But please try to deal with conflict while understanding we all want the same thing. We all just want the right to park by our own house and go inside and turn off the world.

Today think of one way you might be able to create more parking on the street.
– Park larger cars in the driveway/ smaller cars in the street
– Make more space in the driveway to park tandem
– Park motorcycles and mopeds on the side of the house
– Pull all the way forward to the edge of the curb when parking while not blocking driveways
– Pull your rv or boat into your driveway or backyard to make space for cars
– Tell your tenants to respect neighbors and park with empathy because we all get frustrated
– Park with empathy because we are all frustrated.
– Ask that guests pull all the way into street spots when they visit.

80ff1423dde637288a960590bbec6d5aPlease share your ideas on how to make this better. We all know the problems, looking for solutions here.

Thanks everyone for consideration over frustration.

How to Enjoy a Compost Pit Without the Stench

By Guest Blogger Jaron Clinton

Pallet compost binThere are plenty of reasons to have a compost pit, such as excellent mulch and waste reduction, and if you are moving to a new home and want to grow a garden, now is the best time to give it a shot.

Compost pits use the decomposition power from billions of microorganisms that are commonly found in healthy soil to decompose lawn rubbish and kitchen waste into fertilizer growing plants can use. Some people like to maintain an indoor compost bucket in something smaller such as an empty and clean paint can. This is tremendously beneficial because it saves you the effort of going out to your compost pit every single time you have something to contribute to it. The soil created makes great fertilizer for most plants—everything from sunflowers to corn.

Compost BinsA compost pit also serves as an excellent way to recycle food and lawn trash that would otherwise clog up landfills and add more problems to our already worsening climate. For items that should not be composted, make sure you utilize landfill diversion techniques to keep our planet clean. Creating a compost pit is a simple process that doesn’t take up too much time or space, but if you don’t create the pit properly then it can take on a bit of an unpleasant odor. Luckily, eliminating this is a pretty easy process.


The first and most important step to eliminate a smelly compost pile is to make sure the ingredients are properly mixed and aerated. “A healthy compost pile needs plenty of oxygen mixed in. Otherwise, aerobic bacteria (those that need oxygen to metabolize the organic materials) cannot function, and decomposition will be driven instead by anaerobic bacteria, which produce foul-smelling gasses as byproducts of their metabolism,” according to WikiHow. The easiest method to ensure that the aerobic bacteria do their job is to use a rotating compost bin. When this is not an option, make sure to turn or mix the pile every few days with a shovel or pitchfork.

If that doesn’t solve your stinky pit of soon-to-be fertilizer, then take a peek at the size of materials you’re using. Subpar airflow can also be a result of materials that are too small and don’t leave enough room for air to sweep through. “For example, a compost pile composed largely of sawdust will be difficult to aerate, as the small pieces of sawdust will fit together snugly and prevent air from flowing through the pile,” the WikiHow article states. “To prevent this problem, integrate larger or looser materials into your pile. Tree limbs and cardboard scraps are good materials for this purpose.”

Finally, if that still isn’t working to get the air flowing then you’re stuck making sure your pile isn’t too wet. Air finds it difficult to push through a moist environment. A handful of compost should have the dampness of a wrung out sponge.

If by chance your compost pile is getting enough airflow but still smells, then take a look at what you’re tossing in there. Eliminating meat from your diet is a great benefit to society, as livestock account for a staggering one-fifth of global greenhouse gasses and 75 percent of deforestation, and similarly, meat should never find its way into your compost pile.

Rich CompostLearning how to compost is an awesome experience that gives you a better understanding of how the decomposition process works. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better fertilizer in your local hardware store, and so long as you wear proper sun protection, being outside to toil through the pit is good exercise. The only downside beginners often encounter is the smell, but by following these tips the only thing you’ll be smelling will be a bed of growing flowers.

SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program Funds Committed

It was announced today that the funds for the Turf Removal Program also known as Cash for Grass Program are all reserved and no more projects will be approved.  If you have already had your project approved your rebate should be reserved.  However, there is no money left for new projects to be approved.

BUT, there are still a lot of other great water saving programs that can be found on the website as well as at

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) 
announced that it will be closing its turf removal program to 
new applications today July 9, 2015 because available funding 
has been fully allocated. LADWP is currently retooling their 
program to continue a utility-sponsored rebate program for their
customers. The revamped program will be available soon – please 
check back. Please also check 
for additional instructions.


How I got Cash for Grass: Through SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program.

How I got Cash for Grass: Through SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program

After of lawn
After of lawn
Front Yard Grown In
Front Yard Grown In
Parkway After
Parkway After

Did you know you can get around $4 square foot to remove your thirsty lawn and help pay for new drought tolerant landscaping?  When I did this process I only got $2 square foot and still ended up with $3300.

How I got Cash for Grass: Through SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program.

How I got Cash for Grass: SoCalWaterSmart Turf Removal Program (Reveal)

Feel free to add your own links to your own projects.  We would love to see your new yard!

Drought Tolerant Yard Design

Flip Your Home Can Help

Flip Your Home

We don’t want to buy your home, we want to help you sell it for more money! 

Flip Your Home

Flip Your Home is a team of real estate and remodeling experts getting sellers maximum profits by connecting investors to pay for renovations.

You own or inherited a home that is or has become too difficult to maintain.  The systems are old, outdated, and potentially unsafe.  You might want to unload the property or retire to an easier life, but can’t sell the house getting the profits you need.  You might be over your head and feel helpless, but Flip Your Home can help you find the hidden gold hidden in your property.

You could fix up your own property for resale, but you don’t have the money, time or skill to renovate a home. Meanwhile, the biggest investment you ever made left you penniless and hopeless.  WE ARE NOT TRYING TO BUY YOUR HOME!

 What if we could get an investor to pay for renovations to your home and you could split the profits when it sells? The investor pays for the construction and everyone comes out ahead at the end of the transaction when your house sells for more than the current, unrenovated value.

 Your investment is your home — There is NO COST TO YOU. The Flip Your Home team uses its knowledge of the market, investors and contractors to create a marketable home.  We are professional home designers, builders and marketers who have years of experience flipping homes.

We work WITH your home, managing the process every step of the way, to renovate and sell your home for maximum value.

With the Flip Your Home program investors partner with the homeowner. The homeowner’s part of the investment is their home: you, as the investor, provide money for the renovations. The profits get divided between you and the homeowner with a small Flip Your Home service fee

Each deal is individually negotiated. All projects must be pre-qualified. Each investment is a risk and no profits are guaranteed.

(844) 2 FLP HOM (844) 235 – 7466
© Copyright 2014 Flip Your Home LLC. All rights reserved.

SoCalGas’ Home Energy Advising Program

I was just contacted by SoCal Gas Energy Advisor, George Kopf.  They are working on connecting homeowners with people that can walk them through the different programs for rebates and incentives for energy upgrades.  How great is that to have someone to help you understand all of the options out there.  Here is the information he sent me.

SoCalGas Energy Upgrade Program
SoCalGas Energy Upgrade Program

Details on SoCalGas funded Pilot Programs

SoCalGas is funding two pilot programs that should interest every Real Estate Professional in southern California:

The Home Energy Advising pilot program provides independent expert advice and assistance for homeowners performing an energy upgrade to their home.



Are you interested in making your home more efficient?

If you are, you will be excited to learn SoCalGas is funding a pilot program that offers free Home Energy Advising for eligible homeowners.

Home Energy Advising Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: I’m a homeowner interested in making my home more efficient and more comfortable while lowering my bills.  How do I do that?

A: An Energy Upgrade might be just what you’re looking for! But where to start? Call toll free to be connected to a SoCalGas Home Energy Advisor, George Kopf,  (888) 382-2925 or

Q: So what is “Home Energy Advising”?

A: Home Energy Advising is free, highly customized and ongoing expert phone-based assistance to eligible homeowners who are interested in making their home more efficient and comfortable through an energy upgrade.

Q: What does Home Energy Advising offer?

A: Home Energy Advising provides eligible homeowners:

Education on the ability of energy upgrades to make their home more comfortable, durable, valuable, safe, healthy, and efficient.
Assistance in determining the availability of incentives for energy upgrades, the options for financing their upgrade, and the qualifications of participating contractors.
Ongoing assistance moving forward with their project: help selecting incentive programs, expert technical advise, assistance reviewing bids, completing incentive paperwork, etc.

Q: Sounds great! So who is eligible?

A: The free Home Energy Advising service is a SoCalGas funded pilot program for homeowners who are SoCalGas customers and receive their electricity from a municipal electric utility (LADWP, Riverside Public Utilities, Glendale Water & Power, Burbank Water & Power, etc.).

Q: How do I find out if I am eligible?

A: Call (888) 382-2925 to be connected to your Home Energy Advisor. But hurry! Space is limited!  Make sure to tell George I sent you!

Home Energy Upgrade Programs
Home Energy Upgrade Programs

When Good Inspections Go Bad.

In the inspection process, sometimes the home passes Jack Holding up Foundationwith flying colors. The systems all look pretty good and have a good amount of life expectancy so you theoretically shouldn’t have to perform any major repairs for some time. For instance, the roof may have been replaced 10 years ago. Though it is not new, it doesn’t show any signs of leaks, and in theory, should have another 10-15 years on its expected life. This is considered in good working condition.

I recently had an escrow on a fixer property with an investor/builder client. There was an un-permitted room addition that the buyer knew about before writing the offer. Because it was made clear before entering escrow, it wasn’t something the seller was prepared to offer a credit for repair on. And this buyer felt qualified to get the room up to code and get it included in the square footage by the end of the flip.

However, upon inspection of the foundation, the buyer found that the back part of the un-permitted room was sliding off of the foundation and was being held up by jacks. (Yes, those jacks.) As the foundation was clearly having issues, in order to repair the home properly, a complete demolition would have to be done re-building the room from scratch.

In this case, it would have cost the buyer $30,000 more than they anticipated for repair costs.

Exterior Damage to House
Exterior Damage to House

Therefore, the buyer asked for the rather large credit of $30,000 because of an unseen negative condition in the property that was not disclosed by the seller. (It seems rather hard to believe the seller wouldn’t have known about said jacks, but we will ignore the lack of disclosure for now.)

In this case the seller offered only $5,000 credit to the buyer to repair the foundation.  Because this was not enough to cover the unknown costs with demolition and permiting and rebuilding, my client passed on the house.

A couple issues the seller should have kept in mind:

Because this condition has been presented to both the seller and the agent, it is something that will need to be disclosed to any future buyers that buy this house.  This is know a known factor affecting the value and condition of the property.

This seller was in a hurry to sell this property as he was having health issues and needed to move. The time might have been more valuable than money in this case.

My client decided the rewards did not cover the risk in this case and passed on the property.  Sometimes it is good to know your bottom line and move on to the next project.


Play the Save Every Drop Game (Outside your home)

I belong to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council’sGreen Team.  One of our long time members mentioned a few tips that she uses to save water at her own house.  I want to share some of them with you.

Harvest rainwater from your roof.  Rainwater is ideal for vegetable gardens and is oxygenated, which gives plants more vigour.  Many cities offer rain barrels at low or free cost and they are easy to install under a downspout from your gutters. Put a garbage can next to barrel to catch overflow.

Inexpensive way to divert water from the street and on to your plants when it rains again. Attach a Flex-A-Spout, it attaches to your drain and can be directed towards your plants. Even a Frisbee under the drain will do well in some areas.

Why buy a watering can when you can make one out of an old milk jug? It’s as simple as poking a few holes with a heated pin or nail into the cap of your bottle.

Make your own watering can
Make your own watering can

Or you can fill gallon jugs with water that have smaller holes that can slowly soak into your plants over time.  It becomes a time release watering device.

Gardener & water musts: Talk to your gardeners and know what they are doing.

Let the grass grow to twice the typical length. The denser grass will help reduce evaporation and lessen your water usage.

Use of water on hard surfaces such as sidewalks is still not allowed. Have gardener use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways & sidewalks.

Watering when it’s hot and sunny is wasteful because most of the water evaporates before the plants have time to drink it. Use a layer of organic mulch on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water. Even grass clippings work well.

To incentivize conservation, SoCal Water Smarts popular turf removal program pays residential customers $3 per square foot for turf removed and replaced with California friendly landscaping. Customers can also take advantage of the department’s rebate program by installing weather-based smart irrigation sprinkler controls that automatically gauge whether watering is necessary. There are also free items, low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators, which are available for pickup at any of LADWP’s regional Customers Service Centers.

Los Angeles watering day rules
Los Angeles watering day rules


Los Angeles Watering rules:  

Odd addresses: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

Even addresses: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays

Run sprinklers 8 mins max per station before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. only,

for more info


Composting for Beginners

Here is a great article from guest writer Travis McKnight

Composting for Beginners

Gardening is a wonderful way to spend time at home, and adding compost is a great addition to any garden. Compost pits utilize billions of microorganisms in healthy soil to decompose kitchen scraps and lawn rubbish into nutrients and fertilizer usable by growing plants. They also serve as an excellent way to recycle trash that would otherwise clog up landfills, and save money at the same time. Creating a compost pit is a simple process, and anybody with the required space is able to take this step toward making a more self-sustainable, healthier garden. 

The Pit

Where a compost pit or pile is created often leads to its success or failure. The EPA recommends the area be a dry, shady, or partly shady spot near a water source and preferably out of sight from people and pets. Ideally, the compost area should be about one cubic meter. “This size provides enough food and insulation to keep the organisms in the compost warm and happy and working hard. However, piles can be larger or smaller and work just fine if managed well,” the EPA states.  

If digging up the yard isn’t a viable option, creating an artificial compost bin is a great solution. The environmental website Treehugger has created a few DIY videos on what these containers look like and how to build them. 

The Materials

The great thing about making a compost pit is it recycles materials that would otherwise be thrown out with the trash. There are four conditions required to be present for optimally creating compost: air, water, carbon and nitrogen. For composting purposes, these materials are categorized into being either “brown” or “green,” and they’re both needed. 

Green materials serve as the nitrogen base, and are typically items like wet, fresh grass clippings, green leaves and soft garden waste, or vegetable and fruit peels, eggshells, tea bags and coffee grounds. 

The brown ingredients are where the carbon comes from, and that is mostly derived from shredded paper and cardboard and dry yard waste like dead leaves, small twigs, straw, sawdust and used potting soil. 

Do not use any metals, glass, dairy products, fatty or greasy foods, cat or dog waste, meat or seafood, diapers, black walnut tree leaves or twigs, yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides or roots of perennial weeds. Be sure to dispose of the waste properly or use a reliable junk removal service.

Getting Started

With knowledge of the materials in place, it’s time to get started. The ideal amount of browns and greens in the compost is a three-to-one mixture; that is three scoops of brown ingredients for every one green, with the layers intermingling. Once the pile begins decomposing it will become warm, and may even let off steam on cold days. Once this happens, “fluff” the compost heap by mixing it with a shovel, and then add more to the mixture. 

Once the material is dark and absent of any food or yard waste it’s ready to use as fertilizer. This ready to use compost serves as a nutrient and conditioner for soil used in gardens, but it shouldn’t be used with household plants because it might still contain vegetable and grass seeds. 


As with every new experiment, problems are bound to arise. If a rotten egg smell comes about that means the compost pit isn’t getting enough airflow and needs fluffing. If an ammonia stench begins drifting from the pile that means it has too much nitrogen in it, and more coarse browns like sawdust need to be added. If the pile is decomposing too slowly, try to heat it up by covering it with a tarp.