Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Join us in Burbank for Holiday in the Park 2011

Come out with the family this Friday November 18th 5:30-9:30p.m to Magnolia Park in Burbank, CA as the Magnolia Park Partnership presents their annual, "Holiday in the Park" celebration. The event will take place on Magnolia Blvd between Hollywood Way and Buena Vista Street. Our family has made it a regular part of our holiday season and we hope you will too! Every year the organizers find a way to improve the experience and it sounds as if this year will be their best ever!

Strolling carollers, tasty treats, live stage entertainment, and great prizes await those who come out to enjoy the festivities. There will be free pictures with Santa by the UMe Credit Union, activities for the kids, and lots more! Do make a point in stopping by Simply Coffee - Magnolia and Lima for some of the best coffee in town! For more information about Holiday in the Park, go to the Magnolia Park website: http://www.magnoliaparkburbank.org/ and make sure you download the passport for the evening. Get your passport stamped at the participating stores along the route to become eligible for prizes. We hope to see you there!

Philip Keppel
Media West Realty
4105 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
818.845.9700 Office
818.516.7387 Cell

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Live in the City of Burbank? Let's Have a Garage Sale this Weekend!

Come discover the meaning of the phrase, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" this weekend as the City of Burbank kicks off its community-wide yard sale! City residents are invited to host garage sales this Saturday October 8th and Sunday October 9th as part of the City's - Second Chance Weekend. Permits will not be required so feel free to grab that old rocking chair, mismatched hubcaps, and used baby stroller you've been meaning to get rid of and set up shop. Jill and I will be taking the opportunity to unload our old washer and dryer. Hope to see the streets full of treasure hunters!

For more information about the, "Second chance weekend", go to the City of Burbank License and Code Services Division.

*** NOTE - Even though permits are not requires during the second chance weekend, all other garage sale regulations will still be in effect. If you have any questions, please call the License and Code Services Division at (818) 238-5280.***

Philip Keppel
Media West Realty
4105 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
818.845.9700 Office
818.845.9703 Fax
818.516.7387 Cell

Friday, September 16, 2011

Southern California Residents - Get Your Rebates!

Thinking of purchasing some new appliance for the home? Before you do - look around to see what types of rebates are being offered in your area. You may be surprised at what you find. Depending where you live, there are some great rebate programs for everything from ceiling fans to refrigerators, and even new  windows for your home. Many of these programs can be combined to really cut your cost! Here are a few links below for more information.

Southern California Gas Company

Burbank Water and Power

So Cal Water $mart Program


Phil & Jill Keppel
Media West Realty
DRE #(s) 01868844, 01875431

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Be-boppin in the Park! Burbank, CA August 20th 3-9pm

Looking for something to do this coming Saturday? Come to Magnolia Park in Burbank, CA for a fun family event, "Be-boppin in the Park" from 3-9pm. Enjoy the vintage and custom cars on display and check out all the local shops and eateries Magnolia Park has to offer. Two live bands will be playing so come prepared to dance! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Burbank's Party of the Century! Centennial Celebration

Burbank’s Party of the Century with Fireworks

Friday July 8th 5-10PM *Free

The City of Burbank will celebrate its 100th year with the Party of the Century in Downtown Burbank, Friday, July 8 from 5:00 to 10:00 P.M.

Encompassing six city blocks including San Fernando Boulevard, Palm Avenue, AMC Walkway, Orange Grove and Olive Avenue, it will express the civic pride and community spirit that have characterized Burbank’s first 100 years. When the sun goes down there will be a fireworks display!


• It all starts at 5:00 P.M. with the national anthem and live broadcast in front of City Hall (275 E Olive Avenue) featuring KNBC Weatherman Fritz Coleman, civic dignitaries, former Mayors and a host of celebrities from Burbank’s rich film and television production history.

• Mickey and Minnie Mouse will present one of the largest cupcake displays ever! Big enough to feed 2,000 people, this super-sized confection made from thousands of regular-sized cakes stacked high on a custom-built stand, will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Following the ceremony at approximately 5:45 P.M. will be the Air Parade, Included will be McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets. B-25 Mitchell bombers, Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Police Notar helicopters, Aero Squadron World War II planes, helicopters from Los Angeles County Los Angeles County Fire, Long Beach Police and the Orange County Sheriff departments and more.

• Then, there will be the Mascot Parade led by Bugs Bunny and featuring Burbank High’s Bulldog, the John Burroughs Cheer Squad, Hootie the Owl, Domino’s Noid, Geoffrey the Giraffe, the H.T. Bee, Sergeant McGruff the Crime Dog, Burbank Fire Department’s L’il Squirt and many more. Characters will cavort down Olive Avenue to San Fernando Boulevard.

• Multiple stages will fill the streets with continuous performances by rock and rollers Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries, the Alley Cats, a USO Show by Wartime Radio Revue, DJ Ranney spinning Burbank’s favorite tunes, a Fabulous Fifties stage with the retro crooners High Street, celebrity lookalikes, jazz and blues band The Bluez Express, a kids stage featuring Radio Disney’s Street Team and NBT artist Sacha Edwards, 14-year-old pop and rock sensation who has already performed over 100 live shows in some of Los Angeles' hottest venues.

• An 18-foot animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex similar to the frightening carnivore in Steven Spielberg’s 1997 classic The Lost World: Jurassic Park will be on display at the Universal City Studios Credit Union (175 E Olive Avenue), along with screenings of the film, which was in part filmed in Downtown Burbank.

• To finish, there will a stunning Fireworks Grand Finale choreographed to Burbank-related movie and television soundtracks.

• Free shuttles courtesy of SuperShuttle will be running continuously from 4:00 to 11:00 P.M. with stops at McCambridge Park Recreation Center (Glenoaks Boulevard and Amherst Drive) and the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station (201 N Front Street)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Glass is Half Empty or Half Full on Housing?

We Realtors are like everyone else - some of us are optimists while others pessimists so naturally our writings will reflect our beliefs. I always take the stance that things are never as good or bad as what most people think. Lately, there has been plenty of negativity in our housing news - much of it valid - some not. Most of these stories talk about shadow inventories, the next wave of foreclosures, concerns for the economy, and how home prices will/must fall further. Being that our economic system is affected by consumer confidence, all news good and bad will have some effect on our collective daily decision making.

Unfortunately, many people are failing to take into account that much of this negativity is written in general or regional terms - some implying that all market ills are shared equally by all parts of the country. We know this is not true since not all areas were equally affected by the housing market correction. Some areas have seen prices come down sharply while others have only seen modest reductions. There are even some areas of this country - believe it or not - where prices have been rising! So, what can be done? How can one know if/when the time is right to purchase?

My answer to anyone asking is always the same, " it depends" If you want to know if the time is right to purchase - let's talk about the type of sale you are thinking about and see how it works in today's market. Contact me today to get the information you need to make an educated choice. Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

City of Burbank Fire Service Day/Police Week Saturday May 14th!

Come on out to downtown Burbank (Orange Grove and Third Street) this Saturday 7:00 AM - 2:00 PM to celebrate Burbank Fire Service Day/National Police Memorial Week. Both Burbank Fire and Police departments will be joining forces for the day with displays, demonstrations, an open house, and plenty of activities for the kids. The Burbank Police Department will be co-hosting the event as part of their National Police Memorial Week - May 15 through 21. The event is free so come on out and have some fun with your neighbors! Here is a list of some of the activites:

7-10am Pancake Breakfast presented by the Burbank Community YMCA

9-11am Music,demonstrations, and Fun

9am-2pm Santoro’s Sub Sandwich “firefighters special” lunch

11:15am Lil’ Squirt & Officer McGruff photo opportunities

12pm Burbank Police Department Moment of Silence

12-2pm City Beat performs popular classic tunes from the 50’s to the present

For More information call 818-238-FIRE

*Jill and I have been attending the event for the past few years and it is an absolute blast! We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome Chipotle - Toluca Lake

Love Chipotle - been a big fan since the mid 1990s when I was living in Denver, CO. Missed them dearly once I moved to Burbank, CA in 1996. Needless to say, I was very excited a few years back when Burbank's first Chipotle opened on Palm Ave. in downtown Burbank. The only problem was that because of its location on the walkway - there just wasn't any convenient way to quickly run in and get food to go. My dilemma was finally solved though last week with the opening of the second - yes second Chipotle location in Burbank/ Toluca Lake.

Chipotle Toluca Lake/Burbank is located at the site of the former El Torito Restaurant and Cantina on the corner of Riverside Dr. and Pass Ave. Parking is convenient with its own lot next to the building so running in to grab a quick burrito or taco is a snap. My particular favorite is the Vegetarian Burrito that comes standard with guacamole. See you at Chipotle!

Chipotle Toluca Lake
4012 Riverside Dr Toluca Lake, CA 91505
Daily Hours 11am - 10pm

Monday, May 9, 2011

Burbank Residents... It's Time For Dodger Baseball!

Burbank residents - come head out to Dodger Stadium Friday night May 13th 7:10pm to support your local team and enjoy some quality time with some of your fellow neighbors! Friday's game will feature our hometown Dodgers against their National League West rivals - Arizona Diamondbacks. As of  the time of this writing, the Dodgers are tied with Arizona for 3rd place in the West - 3-1/2 games back of the division leading Colorado Rockies. If the standings hold - it should be a very interesting series! As an added benefit - Friday is also fireworks night so get your tickets before they are sold out.

Tickets for Burbank residents were on sale until April 22nd through the city but at this point it would be best to get your tickets online at www.dodgers.com/burbank (enter promo code: Burbank). For additional information regarding the City of Burbank's Dodger Night, call 818.238.5300
See you there!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Graduation Season - Thinking about Downsizing?

It's hard to believe it's May again and another school year is coming to an end! Congratulations to all the High School Seniors out there who will be either joining us in the working world or continuing on their way to college. We truly wish you the best in all that you do! Within the coming months, schools will be unloading their hallways and parents will be faced with the daunting task of deciding what housing changes will need to be made before the next coming school year. Stressful for sure, but easier once one has all the information needed to make the right decisions!

With a college student of my own, I know the difficulties of  sending a child off  to school. Not many parents are prepared financially or emotionally for this change so naturally they worry about making the right housing decision. Some will choose to have their children live in the college dorms, others will rent apartments, and others yet will decide it's time to purchase an investment property - one close to their child's school. One benfit of purchasing is in knowing where your child will be living for the next four years and the exact cost. No rising housing cost drama - just your scheduled monthly payment. And if things start to get tight, roommates can also be added to help with the payments. Purchasing an investment property is also a great option for families with more than one child who all plan to attend the same school.

Outside of student's housing, some parents will wonder if it's the right time to downsize from the large family home into something with less cost or maintenance. Others may look into trading in the large home for two homes - one in the immediate area and a second closer to (or further from) their students. There are many options we can discuss for whatever you may be thinking so give us a call. We can go over all the options, run the numbers of each scenario, and help you make the right decision. We're looking forward to helping you. Have a great day! 

Contact us today:

Philip Keppel
Media West Realty
4105 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
818.845.9700 Office
818.845.9703 Fax
818.516.7387 Cell

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Condo - Walking Distance to Warner Bros - FHA approved Complex - Open Today 1-3PM

Come join me today for an Open House in Burbank 1-3pm at one of the only FHA approved complexes in the Burbank Studios area! One may find many condos in the area but very few are FHA approved complexes. Here are the details:

4140 Warner Blvd #307 (click address to see Listing video)
Burbank, CA 91505 
Riverside Drive to Rose Street to Warner Blvd (click for Map)
1 bath
760sq ft Assessor
Built 1964
FHA Approved Complex
Great deal at $279,000

Hope to see you here!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

3.5% in Closing Cost Assistance Through June 30, 2011!

Been struggling to purchase a home in today's market? Have you considered purchasing a Fannie Mae foreclosed properties as part of the HomePath program? The HomePath Program was enacted early in 2009 to deal with the growing number of Fannie Mae's foreclosed properties. The HomePath Mortgage program has some great benefits - one being the First Look Initiative - which helps protect buyers from having to engage in bidding wars against investors for the first 15 days on qualified HomePath properties. Another benefit is the reduction in down payment for earnest money deposits for HomePath Mortgage properties. Owner occupants can put down as little as 3% and investors 10%. Also, there is no lender requested appraisal and private mortgage insurance (PMI) is not required. Lastly, Fannie Mae is now offering up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance on all homes where an initial offer was submitted on or after April 11, 2011 and closes by June 30, 2011.

 Here is everything one needs to know:
(Courtesy of HomePath.com)
The HomePath property buyer must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for 3.5% assistance:

•Buyers and/or selling agents (the agent representing the buyer) must request the incentive upon submission of initial offer in order to be eligible.

•The initial offer must be submitted on or after April 11, 2011 and close by June 30, 2011. If an initial offer was made prior to the effective date, the offer is not eligible for the incentive.

•The sale must close on or before June 30, 2011. No exceptions will be made to this deadline.

•Only buyers purchasing a HomePath property as their primary residence may receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance. Second homes and investment properties are excluded from the incentive.

•Buyer must sign the Owner Occupant Certification Rider to the Real Estate Purchase Addendum.

•If a buyer's total closing costs are under 3.5%, the difference will not be available as a credit to the buyer.

Now that you know - let's find a great HomePath Property and an approved lender together! Call today (818) 516-7387

Monday, April 25, 2011

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing

There are two things that determine how fast any home gets sold and for how much and that is how the property is price and marketing. Of the two, setting the right price is pretty important but marketing is probably more so since it will be the way qualified buyers will find your well priced home. This is why it is so important to choose the right Agent to list your home. We at Media West will list your home with the correct price then proceed to outmarket the local competition to get your home noticed and sold.

 Let's say you have the choice of two Realtors to choose from. One says he can give you the same basic marketing package other agents are providing these days: Sign in the yard, List the property on the MLS, Hold an Open House, List the home in the weekend newspaper, and possibly a virtual tour with some still pictures and music. Now let's say the second agent comes to you and states that he or she will start with the basic marketing and add to that a professionally made Hollywood Style Movie Trailer of your home - shot in High Definition - with a professionally written script read by a professional voice over talent. But it doesn't end there. The second agent continues by saying that she will house that High Definition movie and house it on its own website with your home address as the website address! How much would that be worth to you?

It is common knowledge that online video submissions have higher rankings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. So having a video of your listing will put your listing a head of all the other non-video listings. Knowing this, which Realtor would you choose? Contact us today and find out how we can set a great price for your home and then out market the competition!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lord's Kitchen - Saturday 04/23/2011 Westminster Presbyterian Church Burbank, CA

Come Join us tomorrow as we volunteer to help feed the homeless at Westminster Presbyterian Church 542 N. Buena Vista St, Burbank, CA 91505 as part of the, "Lord's Kitchen" food program. Serving is scheduled to run from 12:00 -2:00pm. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making An Offer Can Be Scary - This May Help!

For home buyers, nothing is scarier than making an offer. It's understandable and can be attributed to basic human nature. We see it in people gathered around a pool, each waiting for the other to jump in first so they can gauge the temperature. Funny thing is - once somebody jumps in and finds the water pleasant, everyone else wants in too.

So let's say you finally found a great place - now what? Well if you haven't already done so - get your approval letter. An approval letter from a direct lender is one of the basic requirements in making an offer and can take anywhere from a few hours to one day to get depending on your lender. We recommend getting one at the very beginning of your search since you'll need this information to set a realistic search goal. Besides, well priced homes sell quickly in just about any market so why lose out being unprepared. Next, make sure you have a copy of your FICO scores. Many lenders will include them on their approval letter but not all so make sure to check. Lastly, you will need proof of funds for your stated deposit submitted with your offer. This can be in the form of your latest bank statements, 401K or any other fund that is in your name that can easily be accessed.

After your offer is accepted -what's next? Well, if you're buying in Southern California you will usually have up to 17 days for a physical inspection period to investigate what - if any risks are associated with the home. At the very least, Realtors advise having a general inspection of the property done then scheduling additional tests, depending on personal concerns and what might have been found during the first inspection. Many people have concerns about mold, lead, asbestos, and radon gas so schedule inspections by trained and licensed inspectors if you have any fear. Some buyers choose additional inspections for the foundation, chimney, or sewer line. It is also not unheard of to even have a geological survey of the property - especially for those located on hillsides.

 If you suspect that something may have been done to the building structures without the proper permits, schedule a visit to the city permit department and pull permits. It's a fairly easy process and usually free to do. Lastly, finish any other investigations that may be important to you such as searching the Megan's law database or local crime records. The goal is to be comfortable with your purchase knowing you did all the necessary research. If you had any doubts making your offer -hopefully they have all been alleviated by the end of the inspection period. OK, best of luck - now get out there and make some offers!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Downtown Burbank Art Festival 2011

Come out to beautiful downtown Burbank, CA this weekend Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17 for one of the largest cultural arts events in the Southern California region, "Downtown Burbank Arts Festival"  hosted by the Downtown Burbank Partnership in collaboration with Burbank Arts for All and West Coast Artists. Events will run both Saturday 10am -7pm, and Sunday 10am - 5pm on four blocks of San Fernando Boulevard between Magnolia Boulevard and Olive Avenue.

Visitors can expect  to find various pieces of artwork such as paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, mixed-media and photography. As an added benefit, there will be nonstop live performances of local dance teams, rock bands, an improvisational comedy troupe, and other performances from Burbank's local school students.

Burbank Arts for All, a non-profit organization, will be using the event to raise money for Burbank student art programs with raffles and opportunity baskets all weekend long. The organization is dedicated to ensuring permanent and equal access to quality arts education for all of Burbank’s 15,000 students. 

Jill and I will be there enjoying the festivities and supporting the arts! Hope to see you there. Have a great weekend folks!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Burbank - 100 years... Let's Have a Parade!

Join us this Saturday morning 11 am Olive Avenue - between Keystone and Lomita Streets in Burbank, CA  for the City of Burbank CA 100th birthday celebration and parade. Do we really need to sell you on any more than that? Hope to see you there!

Phil & Jill Keppel

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Magical Magnolia Bicycle Tour... April 2nd Magnolia Park Burbank, CA

Keep your schedule open on Saturday April 2nd 3-7 pm and hop on your bike and come join the festivities in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank. Magnolia Park businesses, Burbank Bike, and the Burbank Recycling Center are hosting the event titled, "Magical Magnolia Bicycle Tour" For more information about the event go to http://www.magnoliaparkburbank.org/.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Part 3 of 3: Earthquakes - What To Do After An Earthquake.

Today we look at the 3rd part of our series on Earthquakes: WHAT TO DO AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE. This information is taken from the FEMA website.

What to Do After an Earthquake

•Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.

•Listen to a battery-operated radio or television. Listen for the latest emergency information.

•Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

•Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.

•Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.

•Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.

•Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.

•Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.

•Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.

•Inspect utilities.

◦Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.

◦Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.

◦Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.

Be prepared.

Go to http://www.fema.gov/ for more information of what you can do to prepare for natural disasters specific to your area.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Part 2 of 3: Earthquakes

Yesterday we went over how to prepare for an earthquake. Today we will look at what to do during an earthquake. Information is reprinted from FEMA official website:

What to Do During an Earthquake:

Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If indoors

•DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

•Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

•Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.

•Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.

•Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

•Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

•DO NOT use the elevators.

If outdoors

•Stay there.

•Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

•Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a moving vehicle

•Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.

•Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If trapped under debris

•Do not light a match.

•Do not move about or kick up dust.

•Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.

•Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

Tomorrow we'll go over part 3 - what to do after an earthquake,
Phil and Jill

Monday, March 14, 2011

Southern California is Earthquake Country So Be Prepared

With  the tragedy of Japan fresh on our minds, it is a good time that we Southern Californians refresh ourselves on earthquake safety. This is the first of a 3 part series about earthquake preparedness.

Part 1 reprinted from official FEMA website:

What to Do Before an Earthquake

Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without warning. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and advance planning can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake. Repairing deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations, anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, and following local seismic building standards, will help reduce the impact of earthquakes.

Six Ways to Plan Ahead

1.Check for Hazards in the Home

◦Fasten shelves securely to walls.

◦Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.

◦Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.

◦Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.

◦Brace overhead light fixtures.

◦Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks.

◦Secure a water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.

◦Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.

◦Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.

2.Identify Safe Places Indoors and Outdoors

◦Under sturdy furniture such as a heavy desk or table.

◦Against an inside wall.

◦Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.

◦In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways.

3.Educate Yourself and Family Members

◦Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on earthquakes. Also read the "How-To Series" for information on how to protect your property from earthquakes.

◦Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

◦Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.

4.Have Disaster Supplies on Hand

◦Flashlight and extra batteries.

◦Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries.

◦First aid kit and manual.

◦Emergency food and water.

◦Nonelectric can opener.

◦Essential medicines.

◦Cash and credit cards.

◦Sturdy shoes.

5.Develop an Emergency Communication Plan

◦In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster.

◦Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

6.Help Your Community Get Ready

◦Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.

◦Conduct a week-long series on locating hazards in the home.

◦Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do during an earthquake.

◦Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.

◦Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies about shutting off utilities.

◦Work together in your community to apply your knowledge to building codes, retrofitting programs, hazard hunts, and neighborhood and family emergency plans.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2: What to Do During an Earthquake.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Ahead... Not Thanks, I'm Too Tired!

If you enjoy daylight savings in the same capacity as me, you are dreading the upcoming loss of an hour of precious, precious sleep this Sunday as we spring forward one hour. Now I'll admit that I'm a big fan of the fall version of this tradition but its spring counterpart - not so much! Personal agony aside, this is your friendly REALTOR reminder to move your clocks one hour ahead to avoid showing up early for work come Monday! And we know no-one wants that!

It's also recommended to change the batteries on your smoke detector at this time. It also wouldn't hurt to take a vacuum and do a once over the smoke detector to make sure it's in peak operational shape. If your smoke detector is over 10 years old - it may be a good time to replace it. Now, if you are really getting into this - run a fire drill with the family to refresh memories or institute a new emergency plan. Well, that's all I got. Take care and get some extra sleep Saturday night if possible! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

March is Plant a Tree Month in Burbank, CA

March is Plant a Tree Month here in Burbank, CA. Donations are being collected all month by the Burbank Civic Pride Committee from residents and businesses leading up to a tree planting ceremony at McCambridge Park - 2pm March 24th. Donations must be received by March 17th in order to be included in the official program. Trees may be donated in Memory of, or in Honor of someone. Additional information and a downloadable flyer can be found following the link above.

Have a great day  - it's March so go plant a tree! :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Condo Listing: 4140 Warner Blvd. #307 Burbank, CA 91505

Jill and I are excited about our new condo listing in Burbank.This one bedroom, one bath gem is located on the top floor of a highly desirable building on a quiet side street. It comes complete with great view of the surrounding hills. Stepping inside one finds a bright and airy  floorplan with good flow. This makes its 760 sq feet of living space appear much larger! Perfect for a single person or young couple starting out - this home will pleasure and delight with a good mixture of amenities and convenience of location.

The subterranean parking for the building is gated for safety and the assigned spot is close to the elevator. It includes extra storage space. Heading up the elevator to the first floor, one can find a well kept pool and sauna for the enjoyment of the residents. Each floor of this three story building has it's own dedicated laundry but there are other laundry options available to those opposed to such activity. Milt and Edie's Dry Cleaners is located only a few blocks away and hosts free pick up and delivery service.

The surrounding area is a fair mixture of shops, restaurants, and entertainment all within walking distance so park the car and enjoy your new found ease of living. This truly is the best of all worlds! To help you see how great an opportunity this home is, I've included  the link to our HD trailer for 4140 Warner #307 below. Check out the video and then contact us to find our what we can do to help your home get noticed and sold for the highest price. Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So it's raining and you want to go look at houses?

Bully for you because the best time to go looking for your new home is always when it is raining! For one thing -buyers can make sure there are no leaks in the roof-tops of their dream homes. If there are leaks, never fear, just use the condition to get yourself a better deal. It's also a good time to take advantage of reduced competition since the less-hearty home shoppers will no doubt elect to stay home!

The one thing I do strongly suggest is that you make sure your Realtor brings plenty of umbrellas for everyone and hot chocolate! OK - see you out in the rain! Wait... your not going out dressed like that are you?! And just where is your hat and galoshes?    
Wow - sorry, just had a flash back there. But now that I'm thinking... who even wear galoshes anymore? Have a great day folks!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What To Do With All Those Grass Clippings?

Ever walk around the back yard thinking that there should be a better way of getting rid of leaves, grass clippings and even leftover food scraps? If so - I present the City of Burbank's free composting workshops! Have fun combining green waste and food scraps into a healthy composting  mixture you can use to improve the soil in your garden and flower beds.

The next workshop is scheduled for this coming Saturday, February 5th 10 -11:30am at the Burbank Adult School  -  3811 Allan Ave. Burbank, CA. All workshops are free and all Burbank residents who attend will receive a free composting bin - valued at $100!

For more information and worshop dates visit the city of Burbank website: http://www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?recordid=3082&page=17


Monday, January 31, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday: To Attend/Host an Open House or Not...

Here we are only six days from what many football fans would consider the biggest sporting event of the year - the SUPER BOWL! For those of you out there currently searching for a home - it may have been pretty tough venturing out during the regular NFL season and it got even tougher once the playoffs began. Now comes the Super Bowl - what is one to do? It really depends on your circumstances.

Some of you may have spouses like mine where stopping a home search in order to watch football would not even be a consideration. In that case, I suggest sucking it up and just plan on heading out as early as possible so as to get back home in time for kickoff. Of course this plan might blow up if you find the home of your dreams so better bring a phone with Internet access or a radio to check scores while writing your offer just in case.

Jill and I always preach trying to get a leg up on the competition any way possible. That means taking advantage of reduced competition on holidays and unofficial holidays. For some buyers - this may be your best opportunity to get your offer in and accepted fast. And some sellers may finally be able to get notice by being one of the only open houses scheduled in your area on that day.

So make your plans and good luck to all on your home search/listings, and also to your favorite team playing Sunday. We've decided to host an open house this week but are still figuring out which will work best. Check back with our website later in the week to find out where. Have a great week folks!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cavalia in Downtown Burbank, CA

For those of you who have missed the signs posted around Burbank and have been wondering about those big white circus tents around Burbank Blvd.  - I offer Cavalia! Cavalia is the new show in Burbank that just opened on January 19th. It bills itself as a celebration of the relationship between man and horse. The production is located at 777 North Front Street at Burbank Boulevard and the I-5 Freeway. For tickets and info,call 1.866.999.8111 or visit http://www.cavalia.net/

Gotta love living in Burbank!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Want Clients Like These...

Jill and I hosted a very successful Open House this past Sunday at 747 Catalina Street in Burbank, CA and would like to thank everyone who attended. It was great meeting you all! One thing did bother me though - the recurring statement I kept hearing from visitors stating how their REALTOR had sent them to the Open House to preview the place out on their own. It simply amazes me whenever people decide to work with REALTORS who won't even show them properties - especially in this day and age where many are discovering homes themselves with the help of the Internet! That's the best deal any REALTOR can imagine - a client who not only finds his own home, but previews it before deciding to write! Sign me up... I'll take as many as I can get! Unfortunately this is becoming more and more common. It is something Jill and I do not understand. We pride ourselves in not only helping our clients find homes but also preview and taking them ourselves. It is a hands on approach to real estate.

Oh I hear the arguments from REALTORS all the time about how they are focusing on getting more leads - as if that will excuse their laziness. Finding leads is indeed important, but what type of service are you giving to those leads in return if you can't even be bothered to show the home and point out the positive and negative features? Also, I just don't think these potential home owners are thinking far enough ahead to see how this can negatively affect their chance of getting a home. Many deals are timing based - that is, first come is first served. One can realistically lose out on a dream home by simply being a few minutes late to the party! Those who have REALTORS present may choose to quickly write offers after seeing their dream home and even get into escrow that night. Conversely, some people lose out being slowed down trying to track down their REALTOR just to write their offer.

Ultimately it comes down to one's personal comfort level. For my money - I would want to be represented by someone who focuses on me and not the next deal. Jill and I are here if you need... and we show homes when YOU are ready to look. Give us a call and see the difference.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sunday 01/09/2011 Open Houses in Burbank, CA 1-4 P.M.

We are happy to host two open houses this coming Sunday 01/09/2011 - both in Burbank, CA 1-4pm. These are two homes with different price points. One is a starter 623 Pass Ave. Burbank, CA 91505 and the other is higher end: 3037 Keystone Street Burbank, CA 91504. Click on each picture or address for more information. Hope to see you there!
Team Keppel

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year... now what?

So we made it through the holidays and now it is back to work for most of us. For those of you who shut down the home search -  it's time to start back up. But where to begin? Like most things in life - it is best to have a game plan for success. The best way to start is to take a little time to determine what is most important to you and make a list of all your wants and needs - ranking least to most important. Then go over your list with your Realtor to find a home with as many qualities from that list as possible.

 The New Year may also be a good time to evaluate your Realtor and how they are responding to your needs. Are they available for your phone calls, and do they return emails in a timely manner? How available are they to take you out or show your home? Do they plan outings or just direct you to open houses? Remember, the most important aspect of any Realtor is how they respond to you. Many deals are timing based and one does not want to miss out on a sale or miss getting an offer accepted due to the slow actions of her realtor.

Jill and I are always amazed how difficult it can be to get return phone calls from listing Realtors. We recommend people periodically check from time to time how fast their realtor is responding to calls by having a friend test the system. If your realtor is slow or does not return calls - it may be time to find somebody else or refuse to renew your listing. When searching for a new Realtor - don't always believe the hype.