One of the most common things heard about Keller Williams Realty is how impressed people are with its culture. Agents at Keller Williams believe in helping out in the local community in a variety of ways.

         This is evident with the sixth annual ‘Back To School’ project to benefit the Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center for Homeless Students.

         Agents from the area’s Keller Williams offices around Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Long Beach and Signal Hill have been collecting school supplies to help the homeless students. Agents from the Long Beach Broker’s tour have also been a big supporter of the event.

        Donations will be accepted until August 31.

        The school project has been spearheaded by Christine Frumen and Oriana Shea from KW Los Alamitos.

       “What we do is ask agents, clients and the community for help in buying school supplies to help these students,” continued Frumen. “We need backpacks, pencils, pens,markers, notebooks, paper and so many other items donated to help the kids.”

        “Being homeless is a circumstance that is beyond the control of a child,” added Shea.

         Frumen got involved with the ‘Back To School’ project after another agent brought the information to the their office’s attention.

       The ‘Back To School’ project is part of the Southern California Children’s Charities. The organization is a volunteer, non-profit group with a goal to provide essentialeducational support services for homeless children and families.

       “Our office wanted to become involved with this project when Christine brought it toour attention,” said Elaine Armogida, team leader at KW Los Alamitos. “We thought,what a great cause and what a great way to help the local community.”

      “KW Los Alamitos is involved with many organizations in the community but theagents embraced this one right away,” said Armogida. “We like to be a positive influence in the local community.”

      “We know we are making a difference for these kids,” said Shea. “It’s tough enough going to a new school and a simple thing like a new backpack can make the difference whether these kids  avoid embarrassment or the stigma stay in school.”

     For more information on donating or dropping off items, please call Christine Frumen at (562) 201-0527 or Oriana Shea at (562) 961-1476.

       They can also be dropped off at KW Los Alamitos at 10900 Los Alamitos Blvd (behind Hof’s Hut). For more information about donating at the Los Alamitos office, please call (562) 626-8600.

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Elaine Armogida and Richard Daskam

Amazing seems to sum up the condition of Kadin Nicolau who was critically injured when struck by a car while crossing the street on May 7.

Seemingly against the odds, 13 year-old Kadin is in stable condition and on his way to recovery.

Several fundraisers are being held or have been held to assist the family with escalating medical bills.

Keller Williams Realty Los Alamitos has joined the cause and is hosting a raffle drawing to help out the family.

“We try to get involved with the community that supports us,” said Elaine Armogida, team leader at the Los Alamitos office. “So when we heard about this tragic accident, we decided to help out by having a raffle drawing for a IPad. We had such outstanding support with our previous drawing for Kai Quinonez, we thought we would try it again.”

The raffle for the IPad began June 16th and will continue until July 30th when the drawing will be held to select a winner.

Tickets are 1 for $20, 3 for $50 and 8 for $100 and can be purchased at the Keller Williams Realty Los Alamitos office.

“We are so happy that Kadin is doing better but we also know that it will be a long road for his recovery,” said Armogida. “His Mom has been staying with Kadin in the hospital and hasn’t been able to work and finances are tight. So we hope we can help with the raffle drawing.”

For more information on the raffle drawing please contact Elaine Armogida at (562) 626-8602.

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Shredding DayA JOB WELL DONE–Another successful shredding day event was held by KW Los Alamitos. The crew helped the local community shred and destroy over 10,000 pounds of material helping to save trees, water, landfill, kilowatt hours and oil. The office also raised more than $1,400 dollars for KW Cares the companies non-profit charity thanks to the generosity of the community. This is the sixth successful year that KW has hosted the annual shredding event.       KW Los Alamitos is involved with many projects to help out in the local community. The agents have been busy recently. In March they hosted the very successful Bone Marrow Drive for Kai Quinonez and had 800 people show up. The office also helps collect school supplies with the ‘Back To School’ project in August to benefit the Mary McLeod Bethune Transitional Center for Homeless Students, part of the Long Beach Unified School District. And agents collect canned food items for the Second Harvest Food Bank and the AIDS Food Store and toys for the Toys for Tots project every holiday season. Part of the crew that helped with shredding day were (L to R), Denise Tillman, Christine Frumen, Ruth Mendez, Delight Sittman, Pat Cassara and Richard Daskam.

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Foreclosure filings ease in Western states

Realtors are upbeat about this news. Here is a condensed version from Inman News.

Foreclosure-related filings fell during April in four of five Western states covered by ForeclosureRadar, a surprising trend given that banks have had time to resolve robo-signing issues and lenders would be expected to be trying to make up for recent delays, the company said.

Foreclosure-related filings tracked by ForeclosureRadar declined from March to April in Arizona, California, Nevada and Washington.

Oregon, however, saw notices of default jump 236 percent, to 3,719. Much of that increase was attributed to Bank of America subsidiary ReconTrust, which filed 2,840 new notices of default in April, up from 131 during the first three months of the year.

Bank repossessions in Oregon fell 14.8 percent from March to April and 59.1 percent from a year ago, to 248, while sales to third parties were up 38.7 percent month-over-month, totaling 43.

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     Kai Quinonez is like any 8-year-old boy.

     He is active in sports, loves playing with the dogs and hanging out with his brother Klaus.

     But that changed in October when he was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia, a rare blood ailment that affects one in a million people.

     Kai is not alone in his fight against this rare ailment.

     Keller Williams Realty in cooperation with the Los Alamitos Police Officers Association (LAPOA) will be hosting a bone marrow drive with Be The Match, on March 26 between 11 am and 3 pm. Be The Match is supplying the Bone Marrow Match Kits.

     Long Beach Memorial is also hosting a blood drive in conjunction with the bone marrow drive.

     “Officer  Chris Karrer has been phenomenal in working with Be The Match and helping to get the bone marrow drive off the ground,” said Elaine Armogida, team leader at Keller Williams Realty Los Alamitos, where Kai’s dad Gus is an agent. “He heard about our raffle and volunteered to help in any way he could.”

      Additionally, personnel from the Long Beach Police Department (part of National Law Enforcement Cancer Support Foundation) will also lend a hand to help with the bone marrow drive.  

      “We are also thankful for the help from Commander Josef Levy, from the Long Beach Police Department,” added Armogida. “He is the President of the foundation and has offered to help where needed.”  Levy himself is a cancer survivor.

      The Be The Match Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant they need, when they need it.

      “But the local community has rallied around to help Kai’s family try to deal with not only taking care of Kai but to help with the staggering medical costs,”  said Armogida. “The agents at Keller Williams have been raffling off tickets for people to win an IPad and have the bone marrow drive in an effort to help Kai.”

      “Getting the bone marrow sample is very easy.” said Armogida. “They do a simple swab on the inside of your cheek and it’s done.”

     Aplastic anemia is a condition where bone marrow does not produce sufficient new cells to replenish blood cells. The condition, per its name, involves both aplasia and anemia. Typically, anemia refers to low red blood cell counts, but aplastic anemia patients have lower counts of all three blood cell types: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, termed pancytopenia.

     Kai is undergoing 2 six month rounds of chemotherapy and weekly transfusions of blood and platelets. He recently had to return to the hospital after getting an infection.

     For more information on helping Kai or purchasing a raffle ticket, please call Elaine Armogida at (562) 626-8623. To reach Officer Josef Levy please e-mail him at josef.levy@longbeach.gov. To reach Officer Chris Karrer please e-mail at ckarrer@losalpoa.com.

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Pacificwalk Grand Opening Saturday, February 26, 2011 (Rain or Shine)

     New home residential development Pacificwalk in Signal Hill will hold its grand opening on Saturday, February 26 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. The open house will go on rain or shine.

      City Ventures has begun construction on the new homes located at Orizaba and Pacific Coast Highway. Demolition of the dilapidated structures at the site, including the old Beach City Chevrolet building and the Catalina View motel was completed in November 2010 and site grading activity began in December.

     The marketing name for this project is the Orizaba Collection and plans feature 54 3-story townhome-style condominiums with 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, private 2-car garages and outdoor patios or decks. Other amenities include a barbeque area and a fireplace area for its residents. The homes were designed with energy efficiency in mind, with the potential to slash utility bills up to 80%.



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The Last Of Signal Hill’s Million-Dollar Views

The Last Of Signal Hill’s Million-Dollar Views
by Don Jergler | Realty Bites | 02.24.11 |

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9:25am | There was a time atop Signal Hill where million dollar views were like a dime a dozen. Realtors and developers selling $1 million-and-up homes on the hilltop city that’s encompassed by Long Beach were busy beavers, building out once vacant lots in an area better known for oil wells… and empty lots.

A few years ago, it was hard to count the number of million-dollar homes for sale, being sold, and being built on Signal Hill. But in the last two years, development has literally ground to a halt as space for developing homes with million-dollar views that help give them that price tag has been used up, and $1 million home sales have become a rarity once again.

In what could be the last $1 million-plus listing in for a while, and if it’s sold, the first seven-figure sale in nearly the last two years, Keller Williams Realtor Richard Daskam this week has listed a four-bedroom, 4.5-bath Mediterranean-style property for $1.2 million.

“2339 E. Hill Street’s views are unbelievable,” said Daskam, who sold many of the city’s $1 million homes. Daskam sold well over 100 properties on Signal Hill during a six-year rush in the city during which about 250 homes were built and sold—roughly 10% of all of the city’s single-family homes were built between 2000 and the end of the housing market run-up.

“This home is located on one of the most premium, if not the premium buildable lots on top of Signal Hill,” Daskam said. “The view seems to go on forever and it is hard to believe that anything will ever be built that could significantly block the ocean, Catalina, and city views. The upgrades throughout the house are unique to the custom homes that our MLS calls ‘Hilltop Estates’ homes. These homes were mostly built on the lots that I sold for Signal Hill Petroleum back in 2002 to 2004.”

According to the MLS, Daskam can claim the record for the highest valued home sold on Signal Hill in 2010 at $850,000. And he doesn’t foresee too many $1 million sales anytime soon.

“There are other homes in Signal Hill that still have a $1 million-plus value, but I don’t foresee the market getting flooded by them,” he says. “As I always tell my clients, don’t sell your home unless you have to. And that is especially true right now.”

Other features include a formal living room, a large formal dining room with panoramic views, a granite kitchen with attached family room and fireplace. The three upstairs bedrooms each have a private bathroom; two master suites have access to an oversized balcony with panoramic views, and include a walk-in closet, three-way fireplace, a sitting area and private bathroom with Jacuzzi tub and separate shower.

For hundreds of years, Signal Hill has been valued by people for one reason or another. The Puvuvitam Indians used the hill to send smoke signals to their relations on Catalina Island, according to records that date back to the 1500s. Those natives were evidently also the first to discover value in oil. In the early 1540s, Spanish explorers noticed the natives using a naturally occurring tar obtained from steeps like Signal Hill to waterproof their canoes.

When oil was discovered on Signal Hill around 1916 the liquid helped kick-start the population boom in Long Beach.

And when the residential market took off after 2000, a few pioneers realized that the expense of capping off and removing some of the unused oil pumping equipment would be easily offset by the profit from building and selling homes on the hill, which is 365 feet above Long Beach. As the home-building rampage got started, builders quickly sold the houses for what were then considered astronomical prices.

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