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Archive for January, 2008

Jaycee Park In Downtown Las Vegas Is Closed For Major Renovation

One of the largest parks in Vintage Vegas is Jaycee Park at the corner of Eastern Avenue and St. Louis Avenue. The new park will have a lit soccer field, and a water feature as well as a much requested expansion of the DOG RUN as well as off street parking.

The park will be closed for approximately a year. Unlike Circle Park, there’s nothing political about it being closed.

Circle parkSpeaking of Circle Park, there is a group of neighborhood activists and association leaders who are meeting regularly to put pressure on the City to re-open the park.  With the closing of Jaycee Park, we feel it is especially important for Circle Park to re-open.

For some more background on the unfortunate closing of Circle Park, You can read more about the closure of Circle Park at the Channel 3 kvbc website.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

Economic Update Following The Fed’s Rate Cut

Yesterday the Fed cut their Funds Rate by 50 basis points (half a percent) to 3%. This moved a lot of investor money into the stock market instead of & out of the bond market (which is closely tied to the 30 mortgage rates). Late in the East coast trading afternoon, some changes in ratings for financial guaranty insurance subsidiaries caused stock sell off especially generating losses in the financial sector, which boosted bonds toward the end of yesterday.

MBIA Inc (a major bond insurer) reported a $2.3 billion loss for it’s fourth quarter due to all the mess with subprime mortgages. This announcement is causing investors to be wary and we’re still seeing a volatile marketplace. I’m getting emails currently showing about 20-25 basis points worse in mortgage rate pricing from this morning’s initial rates.

The good news for the moment? Estimates for the new jobs report coming out tomorrow are guessing 70,000 new jobs were created in January. The other good news? Things being what they are right now in financial markets, changes like this are happening in both directions every day and mortgage rates are still historically awesome and you should be able to get a deal today around 5.5% provided your variables are good. Don’t wait, we’re here for you if you’d like to see about getting a loan while they’re hot.

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Mid Century Modern Homes Deserve To Have The Right Front Door In Vintage Las Vegas

I ran into Home Depot yesterday to get a new dog door. With 3 beagles coming and going about 200 times a day, it seems a dog door only has a 2 year life span. Of course that put me in the door aisle, and I was thinking about how absolutely wrong every single one of their standard inventory front doors would look on my mid century modern home.

Of course I see their “mcmansion” doors on homes all over Vintage Vegas, but they’re only there because that’s all there is to buy at the big box home improvement center.

Crestwood Doors, Austin Texas, Ad From Atomic Ranch MagazineThen I stopped last night at Barnes and Noble, and left with a copy of my favorite magazine, Atomic Ranch. The inside front cover ad is for a company out of Austin Texas which is re-creating the classic door designs of the 50’s and 60’s. Of course, just as important is their mid mod advertising, which is absolutely true to the mid 50’s style of magazine ads. Even their website is true to the era.

They blog occasionally about how their business came to be and the trials and tribulations and exhilaration of being a start up business.

Bottom Line…. I’m happy to share with you this amazing new resource for those of us who want to do ‘em over right!

Click on their ad to see it full size!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 6 Comments »

Next Weekend’s Local Party

I hope those of you that came out to the Aruba last Friday for the open bar/swing dancing/944/Racket Magazine/art exhibition party (yes it’s a malleable venue) had a blast. If you missed the fun, you can check out a great review of the event up on Casa Del Soul Records’ web site.

Just so this is up for those of you who live in the area, but only check in once a week or so to get all the posts since last time in one sitting; (please let me show you How RSS Feeds Work!) Here is another really cool free event going on at the Aruba – Next weekend, Feb. 9th.

Aruba las vegas event Feb. 9th

The Aruba is located just behind John S. Park on Las Vegas Blvd. Just south of Charleston. It is a true Vintage hotel and new management has an appreciation for the history of the building. You can check out posters in the Thunderbird Lounge depicting the hotel’s mid-century presence. Hope to see you out!

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GLVAR Annual Toiletry Drive To Benefit Safe Nest, Shade Tree, and Child Haven

We try to help worthy charities as much as possible. Safe Nest and Shade Tree, and Child Haven are 3 that get our indirect support whenever we can help.

Toiletry_DriveGLVAR is having its 8th Annual Toiletry Drive through February 11, 2008, for Shade Tree, Safe Nest Women’s Shelters and Child Haven.

Please bring toiletries to the Association throughout the month of January for distribution in February. Thank you for your support. Please bring your donations to GLVAR by February 11, 2008. Contact [email protected] or 784-5032 for more information.

Sample bottles, hotel room giveaways or anything you buy for yourself would be great donations. Laundry products, shampoo, razors, hair care, toilet paper, q-tips, etc etc are all welcome.

There’s a drop box in the lobby of the Greater Las Vegas Association Of Realtors at 1750 E. Sahara, between Maryland Parkway and Eastern Ave. Hours are 8 to 5 M-F.  

If you can’t deliver, give us a call or an email, and we’ll send one of the VVV crew to pick up your donations (at least here in Las Vegas).

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – Your Very Own Bowling Alley

789280_401_22Of course, it’s a pretty easy lane. Just knock over the box, and the single pin will surely follow suit.

New Rule: No Hallways

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

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Fed Rate Cut & What It Means

Long term interest rates will stabilize around where they are now, but this cut will also affect inflation, so don’t expect 30 year rates to come down significantly(they actually just worsened by .25 basis points for the moment). Heloc’s will come down, and existing adjustable loans won’t reset quite so high. Combine that with Stimulus Package being debated in Congress this week, and the dramatic change in the volume and quality of phone calls we’re receiving from buyers who are ABLE to buy, and we’re probably starting to build a bottom.

Most of the buyers I’m talking to now are trying to decide whether they are WILLING to buy now, and since Jack’s written 2 offers this week, and gotten an offer on a listing, (all of which are still being negotiated), we’re definitely seeing a shift.

Today’s talking heads on CNBC (video worth watching) and CNN are suggesting that we’ve managed to stave off a recession, and that we’re probably at the bottom of the interest rate cycle. That should signal the bottom of the housing cycle. We’ve also seen a huge surge in refinance loan applications, as the more savvy home owners are realizing locking in a 30 year fixed rate now will likely be their best time to do so. If you’re one of those people, give me a call at 702-686-2036 & we’ll help you today.

Posted by Stephen P Christmas | Currently No Comments »

When You Haven’t Seen The Historic Neighborhoods Of Vintage Las Vegas For 3 Years

James has been living in Florida for the last 3 years, but for 10 years prior had lived at various times in Huntridge, Paradise Palms and McNeil. I spent the other afternoon with James on a preliminary search in preparation for his moving back to LV this summer.

New Landscape Being Installed In The Historic Downtown Neighborhood Of Vintage Las VegasJames was blown away by the positive change in all the neighborhoods we visited. There were homes and streets that he knew pretty well, and remembered what they looked like 3–13 years ago.

When I’m showing homes to someone who’s never been in Vintage Vegas, they often are distracted or disappointed by the one run down home, or awful landscape of a particular house on a particular block. James was focused on what had changed since he left.

Usually I’m the one pointing out how things such as….

This block used to look real crappy, or that house used to have 2 cars up on blocks, or don’t you love the new colors they picked for that house when they repainted. It was a real pleasure to be hearing it from someone else, who was looking at things with an old perspective.

He said it was kind of like the niece of his that he hadn’t seen in 3 years who went from being a pimply plumb 14 year old, to a very good looking 17 year old.

Since there’s rarely a week that I don’t drive thru just about every one of the Vintage Las Vegas neighborhoods, it’s easy not see the gradual change that’s occurring every day. I was very happy to get this reaction from someone who’s been gone for 3 years.

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently No Comments »

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – No Noose Is Good Noose

If someone doesen't buy my Las Vegas Real Estate, Then I'm going to hang myselfAnd a double noose as the focal point of a picture is probably not a good idea.

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

Sunrise Villas Townhomes Provide An Easier Way Of Life In Vintage Las Vegas

Sunrise Villas Are 1 Story Townhomes In Vintage Las VegasSome of my favorite townhomes in Vintage Vegas are actually within the geographic boundaries of Las Vegas in 1970, but were all built between 1970 and 1979.

Here’s a little information on SUNRISE VILLAS. There are 9 total communities, which all pretty much look the same, have the same basic floorplans, same lush landscape, and the same community designs.

All of them are along the Eastern Avenue and Pecos/Mcleod corridors between Desert Inn and Flamingo, with only Sunrise 9 south of Flamingo. Most of the 9 communities are gated, and all have similar pools, spas, tennis court, and lush landscape.

All Sunrise Villas have 2 car garages, and the inner 2 units of each building also have front courtyards as well as the patio in the rearThere were 6 basic floor plans. Since they’re 4 units to a building, the inner units have front courtyard entries, and tend to be the most popular. All of the units have large patios overlooking the green belts. Sizes range from 2 bedroom, 2 bath, at just under 1300 sf to the largest “la paz” model at 2118 sf. All the floorplans include an iterior “atrium” which lets the sunlight in, and allows for a small garden setting inside the home.

 

 

Patios are block walled and open onto the green belt or the pool areas They were designed for “active adult living” with only 1 story units, patios instead of backyards and there aren’t any playgrounds for children. They’re not age restricted, but don’t tend to attract families with children. Most of the owners are retired or working middle age. It’s a great way to live without having to maintain yards, or exterior paint.

Recent sales range from a low of 185k, to a high of 320,000. There are currently 25 units for sale in all 9 sunrise villas between 169,000 for a ridiculously low priced BANK OWNED FIXER to a 345,000 for an exquisite 2118 sf La Paz model.

If you’d like to find out more, or have any questions about any of the great townhome communities, I invite you to call or email Jack LeVine . If you’d like to prequalify for a mortgage, Steve Christmas has great rates, and all kinds of new loan programs.

 

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

Jack LeVine Invites You To Attend “First Friday” In The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

First Friday Logo Stickers Will Be AvailableSince this month the First Friday is also The FIRST OF THE MONTH, it kind of crept up on me.

The whole schedule, including shuttle stops and everything else is available at the First Friday website.

Of Special Interest To Jack LeVine will be:

Cirque du Soleil will showcase the creative talents of its employees in its 4th Annual ‘The Collective’ exhibit in the Arts Factory

In addition, the Cirque du Soleil Community Support Grants for the Visual & Performing Arts will be awarded.

Jack LeVine’s friend Kenton Aemmerson, who’s Cirque du Soleil Cultural Action Coordinator, says “In our ever expanding community of Las Vegas, the need for cultural awakening and growth is a constant vital necessity. Cirque du Soleil creates many links with people active in the artistic communities of Las Vegas.  The participation in the First Friday arts festival is one way Cirque du Soleil has been committed to support and assist emerging artists and art organizations.  The company also strives to support its many employees who have an artistic practice besides their current position at Cirque du Soleil. ”

Also Of Note:

DUST GALLERY HAS MOVED TO SOHO LOFTS: on Las Vegas Blvd. and Hoover. 900 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89101  Featuring Venske & Spänle: On It, December 14, 2007 – February 3, 2008. Open First Friday. Gallery hours: Wed – Sat noon – 5 p.m. www.dustgallery.com 702-880-3878.

AFTER PARTY!

There’s no need to go home at 10pm. AFTER ALL, THIS IS VEGAS! Downtown Las Vegas is HAPPENING

Check out the after parties at Aruba, Dino’s Lounge, Beauty Bar, Downtown Coctail Room, Hogs and Heifers, and The Ice House.

There’s also 2 special events on Thursday night January 31

 WHIPPED UP! This month at the contemporary arts Collective in the arts factory, downtown las vegasFirst is The CAC opening party from 6–9pm in the Arts Factory. This months show is called: Whipped UP! curated by Diane Bush who whets our appetite for food and lust during February.

 

 

 

Damned Ink Studio Anniversary Flyer 

 

And simultaneously, Damned Ink Studios is holding their first anniversary party upstairs in the Arts Factory for 6–10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look for us on Friday night and say hello. We’re always Friendly to EVERYONE!

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – House Keeper Included At Full List Price

Las Vegas Real Estate Homes For Sale Should Not Have Seller In The PictureCan’t you hurry up? I’ve got work to do.

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing worse than a bad picture in NO PICTURES AT ALL!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia and Palace Intrigue – An Invitation For All Our Las Vegas History Buffs

Howard Hughes:  Power, Paranoia & Palace IntrigueNext Tuesday evening, Feb. 5th,  at the Nevada State Museum, we are pleased to announce the following event:

Howard Hughes:  Power, Paranoia and Palace Intrigue

This is a new book by Geoff Schumacher and there will be a book signing/ reception from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

Followed by a panel discussion at 6:45 pm

The following panelists are confirmed:

Robert Maheu, Peg Crockett, Paul Winn and Gordon Margulis

Please RSVP by Friday, Feb. 1st to 702-486-5205 x120

This should be a terrific evening of fascinating history.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Lynn M Zook Moderator Friends of Classic Las Vegas

Also, Lynn has added posts on her blog about the history of the Desert Inn, Sahara, and Sands Hotels. Always a good read, and always very factual!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 3 Comments »

Uncle Jack and Jack LeVine Thank you For Your Comments And Emails To VeryVintageVegas

Lots Of You Spent The Gloomy Sunday At Your Computers And Provided A Lot Of Feedback

 

P1084521Renee at Not Just Antiques Mart was disappointed in the RJ for dropping the category of “Best Antique Mall”. It was the staff choice winner in 2007 for that category. The really cool spring steel chairs on my front porch came from NJAM. Since we can’t give them a vote, we’ll give them a plug instead!

 

 

Helene, a real estate agent who I mentored and trained a few years ago asked the following.

Hi Jack,

Wanted to let you know I love the web site . Great information . I have a question for you, why do you think Paradise Palms is a great location to purchase properties? Is this a good location to rehab and if so what should one look for when thinking of a purchase and rehab in this neighborhood? also where are the buyers for this neighborhood coming from? Here in Vegas or out of state?
Thanks for your help

as always your friend,
Helene

 I responded in the comments: Hi Helene, Thanks for being a reader. I love PP and it will continue to get better and better. The rehabbers HAVE to stop trying to “Summerlinize” the classic mid mod homes of PP. With the growing interest, most of the people looking at mid mod (because it’s mid mod) will turn up their noses at granite counters, and French doors and stained glass mcmansion doors. If you can buy it at home depot, it probably is wrong for a mid mod.

Buyers specifically attracted to mid mod are coming out of the woodwork from all over the country and even here in LV.

Cary emailed some kind words:

“Thanks for being a voice in the desert. I appreciate your focus on old vegas. It is important and without people like you, forgotten.”

and also made a poignant comment on on of our favorite charities:

While we are looking at history, please look at Opportunity Village…a 100% local not for profit that has given people with intellectual disabilities the chance to discover their talents, their friends and their purposes in life for almost 55 years. This IS part of Las Vegas history, a part that doesn’t depend on hotels, gambling or tourists. It’s a part of the more intimate, community history of Las Vegas.

Dave said (regarding our “best of Las Vegas” voting recommendation):

Great Idea to push for favorites that further the “agenda”. Even if they don’t win, it will help the RJ get an idea of our point of view.

Homes for Hipsters (an LA agent specializing in mid century modern who also has a great blog about LA modernism) said in response to the Paradise Palms Fixer:

 
Someone please buy this home and return it to it’s former glory! 250K, and on the golf course? I want to move to Vegas.

Andy J. emailed us about the proposed 47 story condo/office project at 6th and Sahara:

are they kidding? Is the neighborhood organizing against this?”

Supposedly the developer has called a neighborhood meeting for Tomorrow, but I’ve not gotten, or heard of anyone getting an official notice or invite. I’ve been told they’re now revising it down to 30 stories, but not changing the parking or traffic flow which will have a massive impact on 6th Street.

 

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Worst MLS Picture Of The Day – Suburbia’s Idea Of A Tree Lined Street

Suburbia's Idea Of A Tree Lined StreetSeriously, the remarks say :

“Gorgeous neighborhood with landscaping throughout”.

But I think there’s more trash cans than there are trees.

New Rule: (sorry Bill Mahr)

Do not take MLS pictures on Trash Day

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

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