Saturday, September 30, 2017

All in a Real Estate Day



This article was written in 2013, but it encompasses the broad range of properties and locations Charlemagne International Properties covers as we go about our daily real estate lives.
Norma Toering & Team specializes in luxury homes, vacation homes, and income property.  Yesterday was a banner day for our business specialties.  We had a strong showing on our luxury home listing in Hermosa Beach, our offer on an eight-unit apartment building was accepted (after 30 long days of negotiations, rejection and finally resurrection–I’m tenacious), and we wrote an offer for a second home in a private beach community.  I won’t mention the sleep I did not get, as I spent my evening into the night hours negotiating the beach house offer as well as an offer received on vacant land.  Ahh yes, it does remind me of the pre-recession housing market, and it’s good to have it back.

My real estate niche specialties evolved over time.  Gradually, more of my clients from years past moved up to larger homes and I became knowledgeable about the luxury home market in Palos Verdes and the beach cities of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo. A few years later many of the same clients decided they wanted a weekend or summer place either in the desert, the mountains or most popular, the beach.  Their expanding real estate collection often included the addition of income-producing properties to their investment portfolio.

My clients are often the catalyst for my expanding real estate horizons and expertise.  My knowledge about rent control, cap rate, internal rate of return and so much more was client driven to help them make savvy income property investments.  I attended a three-day luxury home seminar to be up to date on marketing luxury homes internationally.  When a client wanted to purchase a desert property I spent a weekend attending open houses in 110-degree weather–call me crazy, but after studying the comparable sales and listings online, viewing photos and locating them on Google Maps, I still wanted to see the homes with my eyes.

I owe my clients a big thank you for helping me expand my real estate knowledge and business.  I’m not sure where this business will take me next, but I’m an adventurer, so I’m eagerly anticipating the next new avenue I’ll venture down in real estate land.

Since writing this article, I’ve sold luxury property in Pasadena, CA, Palos Verdes Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. I’ve sold fixer properties, beach homes, income properties, oceanfront condos, and the list goes on. I have no idea where the day will take me as I continue the adventures of real estate and life.
Photographs of a few of my recent luxury sales



Norma (310) 493-8333

Thursday, September 21, 2017

South Bay Los Angeles Income Property

Income units in Los Angeles 

The South Bay of Los Angeles has residential investment units in most cities. Units occasionally come on the market in Palos Verdes, and units in the Beach Cities tend to get snapped up fairly quickly. Torrance is still very popular with investors.

The LA City rent control rules in San Pedro/Wilmington/Harbor City are a factor in keeping those areas competitive and as a result, the lower prices attract many first-time investors.

Income property of all types remains in high demand along the coast of the South Bay. Investors are going after the 4+ unit buildings, while owner-occupants and tear-down builders are focused on duplex and triplex listings.

For more information on income property in the South Bay of Los Angeles. - Norma Toering 310-493-8333 Broker Owner at Charlemagne Intl Properties


Friday, August 18, 2017

Buying Condos and Vacations Properties in Southern CA




Are you considering purchasing real estate as an investment? If so, you might want to consider buying a waterfront condo or perhaps a vacation property in the desert or mountains.

Southern Californians are fortunate to have the coast, the mountains, and the desert within a two to three-hour drive. That's still close enough to visit (or vacation) if the need or desire arises.

Condos do have the added convenience and expense of Homeowners Associations.  HOAs serve as a third-party watchdog for owners. They also reduce the number of maintenance responsibilities owners must bear. Unlike a single-family home or a multi-family apartment building requiring exterior upkeep, most condo associations cover gardening, exterior maintenance and overall upkeep of the buildings and grounds.



With more retirees moving to condos in a resort or urban area, and the return to the city by many young professionals, I expect the need for upscale rentals in such areas to grow.

Norma Toering 310.493.8333 or Norma@CharlemagneProperties.com

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Coastal Income Units in the South Bay of Los Angeles




I have a client who is in the market to invest approximately $5MM in real estate. He is selling a commercial building and wants to roll the proceeds over into another property. Simple enough.

The dilemma he faces is where to make a long term investment that will require minimum management but provide a decent return on investment. Retail seems like a high-risk venture with the disruption online shopping is creating in the industry. Will gas stations become a thing of the past as the 21st-century advances? As the economic climate changes so do an investors' goals and guidelines.




One thing is certain; people will always require a roof over their head. Housing is here to stay, and the price continues to rise both for purchases and rentals. I recently read over 50 percent of Los Angeles housing units are rentals. Homeownership is simply out of reach for many.

While it's true many people live in rental properties because they cannot afford to purchase, some renters opt to live in a luxury rental for the carefree lifestyle as well as the mobility of a lease over needing to sell a property when it's time to move on to a new job or life adventure.


The growing number of renters ensures the rental market will continue to support investors who choose to invest in multi-family luxury properties in the South Bay of Los Angeles.



Questions? 310.493.8333

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

California Real Estate Updates and Changes for 2017

2017 Real Estate Changes and Updates for California

I attended the Palos Verdes Board of Realtors March Breakfast meeting yesterday. Although breakfast was delicious, my primary reasoning for being there was to hear Gov Hutchison, California Association of Realtors’ attorney, speak regarding trends and changes reflected in California laws and real estate forms. Here are the latest updates:
  1.  There’s a new bedbug form. Yes, those little critters have arrived in our Golden State.  The new disclosure form states landlords must disclose if the property was inspected for bedbugs, and if so, the results of said inspection.  Tenants must tell landlord if the rental property becomes infected; landlord must address issue and eviction of the tenant is not allowed.
  2.  Carbon Monoxide/Plumbing form is now mandatory. Low-flow plumbing fixtures are required; it is seller’s responsibility to disclose whether such upgrades are in place. If the plumbing upgrades are not in place, expect it to become a point of negotiations during the sale.
  3.  Effective January 2018 real estate license numbers are required to appear on signs, websites, and all marketing.
Other timely tidbits of useful information:
Income units are moving toward individual water meters; they are required in new construction. There is a new Water Meter form for use in the sale of income property.
Landlords cannot discriminate due to applicant’s criminal record (within reason), nor refuse because tenant does not speak English.  The landlord should request the tenant have a translator of tenant’s choice.
A new rental rule is a smoke detector is required in every bedroom–one in the hallway will not suffice.  Many local city ordinances have required this for some time.
The housing shortage in California is generating some relaxation in the zoning for two-on-a-lot requirements.  Granny Flats and Tiny Houses are growing in popularity. State guidelines override some city restrictions.
I’m glad I spent the morning receiving an update on new laws and changes in my industry. It’s one of the many ways I bring value and expertise to my client’s transactions. Norma Toering broker/owner of Charlemagne Int’l Properties independent real estate firm.  310.493.8333 or Norma@CharlemagneProperties.com

About the Author: 

Norma Toering is the broker-owner of Charlemagne Intl Properties a boutique real estate company in Los Angeles. She has been a local South Bay real estate agent since 1992. Norma is the most well known & award winning real estate blogger in Palos Verdes. Forbes magazine consulted Norma on Palos Verdes property values when compiling their Forbes 400 list. Cell: 310.493.8333