Vista Sotheby’s International Realty - Lesli Koontz

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Divorce Is Difficult - What you Need to Know from a Real Estate Perspective

Where Love May Fade

Where love may fade, mortgage contracts endure. The fate of the family home is decided during the divorce negotiations and often it ends up being sold. While both divorcing parties hire their own attorneys to represent them and only them, in most cases both parties must agree on the agent who will sell their home or the court will appoint one. So how do you pick the best agent to represent both parties interests?

Hi I’m Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate brokered by Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. I am a certified real estate divorce specialist, and I am prepared to help in these sensitive situations.

Mediation is one of the most frequently used methods of negotiating a divorce settlement. In divorce mediation, you and your spouse hire a neutral third party, called a mediator, to meet with you in an effort to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce. The mediator doesn't make decisions for you, but serves as a facilitator to help you and your spouse figure out what's best. Think about your Realtor as a Real Estate Mediator. Consider experienced agents over friends or relatives with little or no experience. Interview at least three agents before hiring one.

Although depending on market conditions, you may be able to sell the home yourself, it's always more difficult to do so during times of stress, and you really should let a professional take over. Ideally, you should hire an agent who isn’t just neutral, but one who also has a solid understanding of the unique problems and issues that often occur during the sale of a house due to divorce. The real estate agent you hire needs to have a firm grasp on these subtle problems and issues and not get caught up in the fray. Your agent needs to be fair, but firm, and make sure the process is as smooth as possible. And that includes being able to identify any underlying reasons why things are happening and being able to help you resolve them. Selling a house can be an emotional and stressful process for even the happiest couple in the world to go through and going through a divorce can add to that. An experienced professional will be able to protect your privacy, understand and represent your motivations during negotiations and represent both of you equally during the sale of your home. Again, this is Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate putting your family first! And please I am not an attorney or tax consultant, I’m just giving some free advice so be sure to speak to the appropriate parties during this difficult time.

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Divorcing and Decided to Sell? Now What?

You've Decided to Sell - Now What?

Are you a little overwhelmed thinking about where you’re going to go after your home sells in the divorce? Are you losing sleep because you’re not sure what to do?

Here are 3 steps to help you put a plan in place and restore some calm to your life. Hi I’m Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate brokered by Vista Sotheby’s International Realty and I can help. I’ve found that putting a plan in place while you’re selling your marital home, enables you to take the guesswork out of what your next step is.

First, now that you’ve decided to sell your home, you’ll want to have a discussion with your realtor about the net proceeds from the sale. How will the proceeds be split with your ex? Also, you’ll need to understand when the proceeds will be available to you.

Second, once you know approximately what your share of the proceeds will be, you’ll want to decide if you want to buy another home or if you want to rent for a period after the sale. Regardless of what choice you make, you’ll want to put a budget together based on your new income which may or may not include alimony and/or child support.

And Last, once you have a budget, if you decide to purchase another home, contact a lender to get pre-approved on your next purchase subject to or contingent on the sale of the marital home. You will have to provide income documentation and asset information and they will request a copy of your Divorce Decree. The decree will state the terms of your alimony and child support and will be required if you are using these to qualify for your next purchase. In many cases, you will need to be receiving your child support and alimony for a minimum of six months before a lender can use this income and it must continue for a minimum of three years from closing. Because lending guidelines are constantly changing, this is another reason to discuss your personal situation with a lender to obtain your pre approval.


By taking these three steps, you will be able to put a plan in place for the next chapter of your life after selling your marital home. If you need to discuss these items further, please feel free to call, text, or email me. Again, this is Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate putting your family first! And please I am not an attorney or tax consultant, I’m just giving some free advice so be sure to speak to the appropriate parties during this difficult time.

August National Market Update

August National Market Update

Is the market slowing? Well, from a national perspective, yes.

Nationally, this is the first month that we’ve seen buyer demand decrease since last November. Also, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (the HPSI) decreased 3.9 points to 75.8 in July, as consumers continue to report concerns related to high home prices and a lack of homes for sale.

On the buy-side, 66 percent of respondents said it’s a bad time to buy a home, up from 64 percent last month; The percentage of respondents citing high home prices as the top reason for it being a ‘bad time to buy’ also reached an all-time high. Not surprisingly, with what we’ve seen happening in the market – high prices and low inventory, buyers are feeling a bit defeated. But, with the earlier start to the school year – there may be some relief in sight. Typically homes remain on the market a little longer at this time of year. Families with kids may not be focused on a move when they’re dealing with back-to-school stuff, so there might be less competition.

But - buyers beware -  Real Estate experts Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and The National Association of Realtors, are all forecasting interest rates to go up, which means it’s going to cost you more to borrow money and you’ll qualify for less, so if you’re on the fence about buying, now may be a good time. Also, according to J.P. Morgan Insights Report and I quote “Hombuyers  - Interest rates are still historically low, though they are inching up. Housing prices have spiked during the last six-to-nine months, but (and buyers, here is where you need to listen in) but, we don’t expect them to fall soon, and we believe they are more likely to keep rising. If you're looking to purchase a new home, conditions now may be better than 12 months hence…..” end quote.

So I hope this information was helpful. I’m Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate and that’s what’s happening Nationally in our Real Estate market. I’ll be covering our local market in my next video, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for the latest updates. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call. I’m always happy to help. Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate, putting your family first!


July National Market Update

July Market Update

Here’s your July National Market Update - Will inventory go up soon is one of the big questions in today’s market. The other is - will we experience another housing bubble like we saw in 2008?

I know it feels like the wild, wild west out there when you’re trying to buy a home! Hi I’m Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate, brokered by Vista Sotheby’s International Realty right here in the South Bay. Ivy Zelman from the Z Report says, “This month our broker contacts report a continuation of robust demand and intense competition from buyers to ‘win’ houses - with bidding wars, all-cash offers, waived contingencies and rent-free leasebacks increasingly common in many markets”.

So much is happening across the country in real estate right now, but the biggest story certainly is the lack of available inventory causing this market – referred to here as“robust demand and intense competition.” We’re continuing to see a lot of bidding wars. A reason for this is that we do not have the necessary sellers to fuel the inventory needs for today’s demand. This is causing buyer fatigue for those that keep getting outbid, usually by those all cash offers. Soaring prices of lumber has slowed construction across the nation as well. You can’t turn on the TV without hearing about rising costs of lumber! Robert Dietz of the National Association of Homebuilders says, “The decline in single family permits indicates that builders are slowing construction activity as costs rise. While housing starts were strong at the beginning of the year, higher costs and limited availability of building materials have now paused some projects.” This is hurting the supply even further.

I don’t want this to discourage you from buying a home this summer. Home ownership is a worthy goal. It gives you the ability to build equity, offers tax benefits, and offers many non-financial benefits as well. Gallup’s polls show that 41% of Americans still believe that Real Estate is the best long-term investment and has been for the past 11 years. We expect prices to continue to rise, so if you’re thinking about buying - do it now. I’m always here to help and advise you on ways to strengthen your offer, so give me a call and I can help you navigate today’s market. And as always Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate Putting Your Family First!


Redondo Beach Local Market Update

Local Market Update

What's happening here in our local neighborhood? Is now a good time to buy or sell a home in the Hollywood Riviera, or Redondo Beach 90277 and 90278?

In the month of June, in the Hollywood Riviera we had 23 active homes and 11 homes pending. 16 homes sold with a median price of just over 1.7 million and a median days on market of 10.

In South Redondo Beach, 90277, we had 64 homes on the market, 26 pending, and 41 sold, with a median price of 1.45 million and a median days on market of 11.

In North Redondo, there were 50 active homes, 32 pending, and 58 have been sold. The median price is just under 1.3 million, and the median days on market is a short 7. 

Generally, 4 to 6 months of inventory is considered a balanced market. In the Hollywood Riviera, we have 2 months supply of inventory, in South Redondo as a whole, we have 1.8 months of inventory, and in North Redondo, we have only 1 month of inventory. So as you can see, we’re still in a seller's market.

In a market moving as quickly as ours, if a home hasn’t sold in two weeks, typically we need to take a closer look. If your home isn't selling there are several possible reasons: price, condition, location and of course marketing. Now more than ever proper exposure and proper use of online Digital marketing is essential. Feel free to call me at Lesli Koontz Real Estate. I am your digital marketing specialist – Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate putting your family first!

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Core Value

Core Values

What are core values? Well, the core values of an organization are the values the members hold that form the foundation on which they conduct themselves, how they treat people, and how they perform work. The core values are the basic foundation dictating how we operate in our business and ultimately in life.. They are the practices we use (or should be using) every day in everything we do.

Hi, I’m Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate brokered by Vista Sotheby's International Realty. I wanted to share with you the core values I have within my company because they define how I do things  - from the way I conduct myself, to the way I treat the people I  work for and with. That way, you know what to expect when you work with me at Lesli Koontz Real Estate. I know some of these may seem like “buzz words'' or things that should be a given, and they are…...but I hold them very dear and take them very seriously. They include: Integrity, honesty and fairness. I will always do the right thing. My motto is, ‘People before things.”

Leadership: I strive to be an example by leading, directing, and guiding with excellence, and holding myself accountable. 

Innovation. I strive for constant improvement. I celebrate success, strive for excellence, and never stop advancing and educating both myself and others.

And, Accountability: I hold, do and teach myself to be accountable to my family, my company and my community. This is what you can expect when you work with me. I take pride in my core value and strive to live them out on a daily basis.

Let me know how I can help. I’m always here to serve. Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate, putting your family first!


South Bay Golf Courses

South Bay Golf Courses

Do you like golf?? Well a game of golf is a great way to spend a weekend morning – or a weekday morning for that matter - if you have a flexible schedule. Hi, I'm Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate, brokered by Vista Sotheby's International Realty right here in the South Bay.

We’re lucky enough to have many courses to choose from in our area. For the more casual golfer, Sea Aire Golf Course in Torrance may be just right. This nine-hole course over five hundred and ten yards with a par of twenty seven is a great place to bring your young golfer. 

Another option is Los Verdes Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes. This course offers 18 holes over six thousand six hundred and seventeen yards with a par of 71. The upside of this course is the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The downside is the slow play. Once the crowds arrive you can expect six-hour rounds! Both of these courses are municipal, so you can expect relatively lower fees.

How about Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes? This course has 18 holes over seven thousand three hundred and fifty yards with a par of 72. Set atop the Palos Verdes Peninsula overlooking the picturesque Catalina Island, this award-winning golf course features spectacular views of the majestic Pacific Ocean. You’ll also find great dining options here from the casual Vista Grill to the upscale Café Pacific.

More choices? How about the Links at Terranea, also in Rancho Palos Verdes? This 9-hole course over one thousand two hundred and thirty nine yards with a par of 27 is also an oceanfront golf course, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Golfers at The Links walk and take in the magnificent coastal setting, just as the game was intended to be enjoyed. Both of these courses are public, which tend to be more expensive than municipal, but sometimes you can find deals online.

If those aren’t enough options for you, we also have beautiful private courses including Rolling Hills Country Club, in Rolling Hills Estates and Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates. The Rolling Hills championship golf course was designed by world-renowned golf architect David McLay Kidd, and has 18 holes over six thousand one hundred and twelve yards with a par of 72. Palos Verdes Golf Club, is an eighteen-hole course over six thousand one hundred and sixteen yards with a par of 71. Memberships are available to those living both inside and outside Palos Verdes Estates and includes 18 holes of championship golf, a driving range and short game area, a clubhouse, casual and fine dining, and more.

No matter what you’re looking for in your golf game, you’re sure to find it in the South Bay. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out. I’m your South Bay expert, and I’m always here to help. Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate, putting your family first!




There are tons of different strategies that can help with the buying and selling process of a home, and staging is one that can make quite a dramatic difference. One-quarter of buyers' agents told the National Association of Realtors that staging increased the offer price by one to five percent compared to homes that weren't staged. Among sellers' agents, twenty-two percent say the same and seventeen percent say it actually increased the offer price by six to ten percent.

Proponents say that staging a home can increase a home's selling price and the likelihood that it will sell quickly as it helps prospective buyers better imagine how they can use the livable space. Eighty-two percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.

According to HomeAdvisor it costs on average, around $631 - $2,302 dollars to stage a home. Of course this is just an average figure and staging costs vary depending on the size of the home, the number of rooms staged, and some other factors. I offer my clients a free home staging consultation, so reach out with any questions.  Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate, putting your family first!

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HOA vs Non-HOA

When you consider purchasing a home within an HOA for the first time, there are many questions you may have. The most commonly asked question is, what are the benefits of living in an HOA? Hi I'm Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate brokered by Vista Sotheby's International Realty right here in the South Bay. Here are the top 10 benefits of having your home within a Home Owners Association.

1: They help maintain property values: Since residents are held accountable to deed restrictions, homes and common areas are consistently taken care of and well-maintained. Having a well-kept home in a well-kept neighborhood is what makes living in an HOA desirable to a lot of home buyers.

2: Financial Stability - A well-managed HOA has a reserve fund in place to deal with future common area repairs and capital improvements, thereby reducing the likelihood of needing a special assessment, although some special assessments for large improvements may occur.

3: Community Connection through Volunteer Work - Opportunities to be of service to your community by volunteering to serve on the Board of Directors is not only a great way to make new friends, but it offers individual members of the association a deeper connection to the community.

4: Added Layer of Support - When dealing with neighborhood property issues, HOAs often partner with municipal code compliance departments to ensure adherence to the rules.

5: Rules and Regulations Deter Nuisance Activity - Each resident who owns a home in the community is held to the same set of standards for the upkeep of their home's exterior, as well as the adherence to noise policies, parking restrictions, short-term rental guidelines, and more.

6: Increased Community Pride - Community activities and events help bring neighbors together, which increases the pride of ownership.

7: Well-Maintained Common Areas and Amenities - HOAs typically do an outstanding job maintaining their common areas and amenities. This includes manicured common area lawns, freshly painted walls, lighting that works and clean play areas. This makes for an enjoyable community for all members.

8: Access to Amenities - Many communities feature sports courts, swimming pools, barbecue pits, and community centers that are available for resident use. Depending on the community you choose to buy a home in, there is likely an amenity or two to fit you and your family's lifestyle.

9: Increased Community Engagement - Community gatherings and activities such as Movie in the Park or holiday-themed festivals bring neighbors closer together. Regardless of the community's size, there is a sense of camaraderie and joy among neighbors at any community event.

10: Architectural Controls - Residents are required to submit for approval any modification projects to the exterior of their home to ensure consistency and continuity with original community design standards.

I’m always available to answer any specific questions you have. Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate  putting your family first!


South Bay Farmers' Markets


There’s no shortage of fun things to do in the South Bay and one of my favorite things are our local Farmers Markets. A stroll through one is always a great way to spend a weekend morning.

Hi, I’m Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate brokered by Vista Sotheby’s International Realty right here in the South Bay. If you love visiting local farmer’s markets too, there are plenty to choose from, and you don’t even have to wait for the weekend.

The Manhattan Beach Certified Farmers’ Market takes place every Tuesday from 11am to 3pm. One of my favorite vendors to visit is Daisy’s Pupusas. If you’re looking for a delicious lunch, be sure to give Daisy’s a try. We also have the Torrance Certified Farmers’ Market which takes place two days a week – Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. The Torrance Farmers’ Market has a great selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish and plenty of prepared foods too! The Redondo Beach Certified Farmers’ Market, at Veteran’s Park, takes place Thursday’s from 8am to 1pm. Make sure you try Nonna’s Pantry. The selection of hand-made Italian pastries, cookies and breads are scrumptious! On Sundays we have both the Riviera Village Certified Farmers Market, from 9am to 2pm, and the Palos Verdes Farmers’ Market from 8am to 1pm. One of my must have items at the Riviera Farmers' Market is the Bonjour!: French Kefir yogurt. My favorite flavors are the fig and the mango, but get there early, because they are likely to sell out! At the Palos Verdes farmers market, my must-have item is the Spoon Junkie Nut Butter. My absolute favorite is the Figzilla! It is pricey, but definitely a yummy and healthy treat! You'll find a full list of markets here:

I love this community and love sharing ideas! Tell me your favorite things to do in the South Bay. Lesli with Lesli Koontz Real Estate, putting your family first!
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