Renovation Romance: Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays On House Flipping and Family

It’s hard to say what’s rarer: a Hollywood marriage that’s lasted almost three decades or one that’s survived a renovation. But when you’re talking about the husband-and-wife pair of Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays, who celebrated their 30th anniversary this year, renovations are woven into the fabric of their union.

The pair is well known, not just for their acting and other Hollywood-related efforts, but also for their prowess in real estate circles. Together, they have renovated 23 houses, mostly in and around Los Angeles. After selling their last project house in Sherman Oaks, the pair may soon be taking on the East Coast or possibly France, where they own a farmhouse and where a “Flipping France” TV show is in the works. Geographically unencumbered, now that their four boys are “off to college and making their way in the world,” says Bernsen, anything is possible.

In between mulling their next move and preparing to publish Pays’ coffee table book with Gibbs-Smith, “OPEN HOUSE — Reinventing Space for Simple Living,” the pair talked to us about what it takes to execute a successful flip, their evolution of style and what they’ve learned along the way.  READ MORE

Southern California home sales soar in June; prices climb 5.7%

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The Southern California housing market, known for its dramatic swings, is settling into a more normal, healthy pattern.

Home sales are up. All-cash and investor purchases are down. And home prices are rising at a more sustainable pace than in the last few years.

Economists said those factors put the regional housing market on a path for growth that won’t wash away in a tsunami of foreclosures and ruined credit scores.

“The healing continues,” said Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate.

On Thursday, fresh evidence of that trend emerged in a report from CoreLogic. Home sales posted a sizable 18.1% pop in June from a year earlier, while the median price rose 5.7% from June 2014 to $442,000, the real estate data firm said.

The sales increase, the largest in nearly three years, put the number of sales just 9.6% below average, CoreLogic said. A year ago, sales were nearly 24% below average.

Notably, it appears more families are entering the market as the economy improves. Although still elevated in comparison to long-term averages, the share of absentee buyers — mostly investors — slid to 21.1%, the lowest percentage since April 2010, CoreLogic said.

“This is the real recovery,” Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, said of a market where increasingly buyers actually want to live in the houses they purchase. “The last was the investor recovery.”

Sustained job growth has given more people the confidence to buy houses, CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said. California added a robust 54,200 jobs in May, one of the strongest showings in the last year.

The housing market improvement extends nationally, with sales of previously owned homes up in May to the highest pace in nearly six years, partly because more first-time buyers entered the market, according to data from the National Assn. of Realtors.

One factor driving deals is an expected decision from the Federal Reserve to raise its short-term interest rate later this year, real estate agents say.

In response, families rushed to lock in historically low rates this spring, agents say. CoreLogic’s sales figures represent closed deals, meaning most went into escrow during May.

Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Assn. of Realtors, cautioned that the market still has too few homes for sale and that prices have risen to a point where many can’t afford a house.

Please see the original LA Times article by Andrew Khouri for more info by clicking here.