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Archive for July, 2008

First Friday and The Thursday Before In The Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

How in the world did July slip by so quickly?

It’s time once again for First Friday, in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District.

Get yourself out of the house on Friday Night and see what’s happening. You’ll be glad you did!

Here’s the link to the calendar of events. There’s plenty happening, and something for everyone.

Tonight, (THURSDAY) at the Thursday Before Preview:

The Contemporary Arts Collective, (freshly re-painted and looking like a gallery again) invites you to the opening party and artist’s discussion for their new show: ‘Painting Physical Presence’ – Paintings by Erik Gecas and Ayako Ono

The Opening Reception is 6–9PM

There are several new exhibits opening in the Arts Factory the same night:

Justin Favela presents photo/mixed media collage work from UNLV in the common area gallery

TRIFECTA presents ‘Right/Left Behind You’ by Casey Weldon 

Mark Diederichsen and Steven Spann open their galleries for a preview reception. 

Lost Vegas and Retro Vegas will be open the same 6–9 pm for your vintage shopping delight.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

847526_701_22I’m too tired to be clever, so you all can make up a caption if you’d like. Put them in the comments section.






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

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Fun Features Found In Foreclosures and In NOT FORECLOSURES

I didn’t pick an open house winner this week, since I’m showing homes this afternoon, but two of the buyers I’m working with won out on foreclosures, one got outbid, and I’m negotiating a deal on the Liberace Townhouse which is NOT a foreclosure.

65% of the sales in June were bank owned properties. This is very good, as more foreclosures are selling than new ones are getting listed. But that means the buyers are also grabbing up the really nice homes that have been loved and cared for. The inventory is shrinking and that’s good for everyone.

IMG_6126I’ve got a new listing in Paradise Palms. I haven’t gotten to creating the featured properties flyer yet, but you can see all the pictures in the MLS.

After a year of chasing the market, the sellers have dropped the price 60,000 with the new listing, and this home DESERVES to be seen especially at the new price of $309,000.

With the reduced price and an audience that appreciates MID MOD in general, beamed ceilings, enourmous rooms, and wide open space, one of you ought to jump on this one.

It’s at 1871 Papago Lane in Paradise Palms and you can see all the pictures for the moment on the MLS LISTING.


Over on the Foreclosure front……

I know which foreclosed homes all these pictures came from. They’re in all kinds of price ranges, and ALL kinds of overall condition. Some of them are financable, and some of them aren’t.  Some are in pretty good condition and some are just awful.

Just as every house is different, so is every buyer. If you want to get in on the big give-away, you’ve got to have your finances and mindset in order. Let’s put a plan together for you.

These are just some random fun things I’ve found in the various foreclosures I’ve visited.  

IMG_6181Paradise Palms, $410,000







IMG_6184Paradise Palms $280,000

Needs a good 100k to be spent on it. but it’s 3300 sf.






IMG_6193Same house as above, 280,000








IMG_5840Scotch 80’s







IMG_5829Alta Rancho Historic District









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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

848724_101_12A late start getting to the blogging today.


“This one has a garage….we’ll take it”




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

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UNLV Goes Brown – Not Green

Today’s guest editorial is by MaryMargaret Stratton of the Atomic Age Alliance. There have been many posts on VVV about Maude Frazier Hall, and the efforts that have been made to preserve it instead of demolish it. If you’d like to get up to speed on the subject you can find them all here.

 UNLV Goes Brown – Not Green by MaryMargaret Stratton

Maude frazier hall under constructionAs of this week, Maude Frazier Hall on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is surrounded by chain link fence. UNLV in the face of highly publicized budgetary cutbacks wants to waste more money by tearing down its first historic building and plant a lawn in the desert.

College officials keep reporting that the building will cost too much to renovate, but as of this date no financial feasibility study has ever been made public.

Scarce Las Vegas History

Frazier Hall (1957) qualifies on numerous counts for National Register Status. The pickings for such an honor in Las Vegas are incredibly slim. Maude Frasier Hall was built by an award winning architecture firm, Zick and Sharp, who have few buildings left standing. It was dedicated to a pioneering woman, Maude Frazier, the first female Lieutenant Governor of Nevada and the person responsible for bringing educational facilities to Southern Nevada.&nbs

In some strange way, it seems oddly understandable that Las Vegas reinvents the Strip with demolitions. But for a city with no overwhelming evidence of its past, to tamper with its educational heritage is plain perverted. It certainly sets UNLV apart from almost every other respected major educational institution in the country.

The nation is full of universities proud to flaunt their first buildings, knowing it engenders a prestige that nothing new can ever bestow.

Maude Frazier Hall Adaptive Re-use Plan by Mark E. Adams, originally published at VegasTodayAndTomorrow.comIn November 2007 the Clark County Planning Commission voted unanimously to preserve Maude Frazier Hall. A majority of university regents showed support for looking at the possibility of preserving Maude Frazier Hall. The Atomic Age Alliance online petition showed overwhelming local and nationwide support for this building.
Yet before the year is over, UNLV will demolish its first building to put in grass and an arch? Something doesn’t add up.

Ivy League History by Comparison

At Harvard, oldest institution of higher learning in the , the university president has his offices in Massachusetts Hall (1720). Founding fathers who walked through Massachusetts Hall include John Adams, John Hancock and Samuel Adams. One may ask, what notable Las Vegas citizens walked through the halls of Maude Frazier over the past fifty years?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – The Trundle Bed Makes A Comeback

848431_501_15We had one when I was a kid. It was fun. Haven’t seen one in years.





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

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Commercial Encroachment Into Residential Neighborhoods – The Battle Never Ends

6th Sahara Project revised 7-28-2008The Beverly Green and Southridge Neighborhood Associations, which run between Sahara and St. Louis and Las Vegas Blvd and Maryland are constantly being bombarded with proposals for commercial development that will have huge impacts on the residents.

The latest proposal for the lots on 6th Street north of Marie Calandars and Tony Romas is a dramatically scaled back version of what was first proposed which included a 43 story hi rise.

There’s a joint neighborhood meeting with the developer at 6pm on Tuesday night 6–29–08 at the Trinity Life Center at 1000 E. St. Louis Ave.

Anyone impacted by this project, or anyone interested in seeing how the process works is invited to attend.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

What’s It Called? The Flamingo Club Celebrates It’s Anniversary

IMG_6093A very fun debate the other night at the Flamingo Club Cocktail Party.

We were at Downtown Steve’s house in Beverly Green. It’s a recurring monthly cocktail party at a different home each month. It’s the official meet and greet your neighbors that helps to make the Beverly Green Neighborhood Association so successful.

Anyway, Steve’s got a terrific Mid Mod ranch with all kinds of cool vintage features including the “floating soffit”, or is it a “hanging uplight thingy” or a “flying ???” Carl and Lorraine, who bought our mid mod listing on 14th Street have a similar feature under their beamed ceilings. Two of the homes on my street have it. Two of the floor plans in Paradise Palms has it prominently featured as well. No one at the party, including me or MaryMargaret knows what to call it. If you do, please let us know.  There just has to be a real architectural term for it.

IMG_6104Saturday night’s Flamingo Club Party had about 50 people, which was one of the largest turnouts in it’s one year history.

One of the most striking things was the diversity of the neighborhood. Young and old, newcomers and original owners, gay and straight, married and single, but almost entirely liberal/progressive, and almost everyone is trying to be as “green” as they can be.  


Lots of REAL conversation about politics, architecture, historic preservation, neighborhood improvement, the economy as well as the ubiquitous what do you do, where are you from and who do you know and what are you doing to your home.

Why not start a similar group for YOUR Vintage Vegas Neighborhood.  All it takes is one person to get it going.

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

$41,000 Houses?

848537_101_12The banks are REALLY desparate in some cases. It’s not what we normally refer to as Vintage Vegas, but there’s some screaming deals out there if you’re looking for cheap rental property.

And the listing agent has a great sense of humor! The remarks…

“Bank Owned Not a Short Sale.This home is not a major fixer upper so dont let the price fool you. Might need some carpets in bedrooms and a little paint,fence needs repair.Honey dont stop the car I will just jump out.”

I didn’t make it up… Here’s the MLS link.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – Poor Dora

847607_701_12Poor Dora doesn’t really want to move, but she’s not letting on.





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

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Cultural Tourism And The Historic Mid Century Modern Neighborhoods and Architecture Of Las Vegas

When I travel, I don’t spend my time at the pool. I set out to find the oldest buildings, the hippest revitalized neighborhoods, the historic markers, the museums and the galleries. The culture is the SOUL of any city.

I’ve been hinting and recommending to the powers that be that there’s a whole different group of tourists who could be promoted to. That group, like me does more than go to the beach or the pool, and certainly doesn’t eat at the chain restaurants that they could find anywhere. Why we don’t prominently promote our non-resort, non-gaming culture is beyond me.

Beverly Hills SunscreenI got a delightful email the other day from a reader in Beverly Hills that makes the point.  She even included a picture of the sunscreen on her Mid Century Modern home.  

She wrote:

I found you through …….and LOVE your website. In fact, every time I see a cool cast block design, I think of all the cool ones you have posted online. I have attached a photo of ours for your viewing pleasure.

Anyway the reason I am writing is you seem to be the kind of all things mid century modern Las Vegas and I need your help. My husband and I are going on our first “non kid” holiday and miss the old days of road trips, searching for all things 50’s60’s antiques, places, etc. So we are taking a two night trip to your city and wanted to know your tips. I know this is a totally random email, but I thought if anyone you would be the best to ask.

Antiques Malls, shops, events etc in the middle of August. Neighborhoods? Icon Mid Mods that we just have to see?  Is there any googie architecture?  So if you don’t mind please drop me a line if you have a moment and I look forward to reading your website. Those MLS photos crack me up!!!!

So, I ask you dear readers….. Where should she go? What shouldn’t she miss? What should be on our list for her?

Just click on the “comments” link at the bottom of the post. 

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When My “Baby” Brother Turns 50

IMG_6037I felt even older than when I did.

If only I had that much hair.

Happy Birthday, Joey!





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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

844112_301_17If you take away the boxes and the tv and the plants and the picture, then it’s a very nice corner.





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

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The House of Representatives passed a housing bill yesterday that will go to the Senate next month.

There’s a TERRIBLE provision in it that will eliminate the “down payment assistance programs” such as Nehemiah.

As you know, the whole trouble caused by the big run up was because of zero out of three loans (subprime). No money, bad credit, no income.

But we desparately (especially in Las Vegas) need loans where you have to have at least 2 out of the three criteria in place. Currently, the only 2 out of 3 loan program that we have to work with is the downpayment assistance program. You have to PROVE you can afford the house. You have to have reasonably good credit. But getting up the downpayment is the problem, and the assistance programs let otherwise qualified buyers get into homes.

Would you please take a moment and click on this link, fill out the form, and send an email to your representative and Senators to tell them to TAKE THIS PROVISION OUT OF THE HOUSING BILL?

This is a national call to action. There’s several thousand of you out there who read me daily or occasionally. I need ALL of you to do us all this as a favor not just to me, but to the entire housing sector of the economy. Here’s the link again http://capwiz.com/nehemia/issues/alert/?alertid=11598811 Please click it and fill in the form.

Thank You,

Uncle Jack

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ALL Real Estate Is Local – Las Vegas Leads In Improved Sales

The national numbers are out this morning from NAR – The National Association Of Realtors. You’re going to hear some bleak numbers being blah blah blahed about on CNN and MSNBC, and hopefully not on FOX.

The sales of 4.86 million units (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) was a 2.6 percent decline from a month before and a 15.5 percent drop from a year ago. It also marks the lowest sales pace since the first quarter of 1998.

Contrast that to the RJ article from July 10 when the Las Vegas numbers came out.

Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist for NAR continues:

However, there are significant local market variations. Sales have continue to ramp up in markets where prices have come down by 20 percent to 30 percent. Bargain hunters and first-time home buyers who had been priced-out during the boom years have returned to the market. As before, sales are rising strongly on a year-over-year basis in:

  • Ft. Myers
  • Las Vegas
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • Prince Williams County, Virginia

Junes numbers in Las Vegas show us that 65% of the sales were bank owned foreclosed homes. That’s the other reason I forgot to mention in my post the other day about why I’m emphasizing the foreclosures. So let’s add one more to the article.

K) Some of the homes that are bank owned are so bad that they can’t be bought by regular “going to live in them” buyers. But LOTS of them just need some cleaning and loving.  And they can be bought for prices that we had in 2003 and 2004. So far, it’s mainly investors who have been gobbling up those deals, in order to flip them or to rent them for a year or two. Home buyers shouldn’t be missing out.

Or, as I mentioned in C) in that column, many of the buyers I’m working with realize that that they’re not up to the task of buying a fixer upper. We’ve got lots of well loved and beautiful homes that are now priced realistically, and you don’t have to wait a week or two to get a response from the bank, and you’ll usually be the only one bidding on the property.  

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