Community Corner Video
Highlights for July
Happy 4th of July. Don't miss one of the best local fireworks show. The Crescenta Valley Fireworks show. Held at Crescenta Vally High School. Lots of family fun starting at 4:00 pm. Gates close at 8:30 pm and the fireworks start at 9:00 pm.
Don't miss music in the park in La Canada and be sure to take their online survey about the music series.
The lotus festival is this month.
Watch out for the latest real estate scam. At the bottom of, the post is an entire article about scams taking place against property owners.
Read all the details below.
July Community Corner Details
4th of July Fireworks
Crescenta Valley Fireworks Association was created to provide the leadership, resources, time, and energy needed in our community to put on this great annual event. The Crescenta Valley Fireworks Association is a 501 c-3 non-profit. This year's 13th annual event will be held on Thursday, July 4, 2019.
The event will be held at the Crescenta Valley High School field. Please enter this year's event off of Ramsdell Ave.
The gates will open at 4 p.m., the music starts, the kids are running (yes, we will be having inflatables and bouncies in 2019), the food trucks are cooking, and everyone will come in to watch fireworks. The gates will close at 8:30 p.m., so be sure to arrive with plenty of time and then shortly after 9 p.m. the fireworks begin right on cue with the rockets red glare and a fifteen plus minute show lights up the sky. We hope you enjoyed last year's event and we look forward to another great year! Please let us know how we can make this an even better event for our community.
Other shows around town.”
Pasadena Rose Bowl and Dodger Stadium
July 13th Lotus Festival
Join us July 13th and 14th for our 39th Lotus Festival. Our host country this year is The Royal Kingdom of Thailand. We will have the tea house, the beer garden, dragon boat races, the children's corner and zone, tons of boutique and food vendors, artisan art, and plenty of entertainment!!! Doors open from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM. To apply to be a part of our 39th Lotus Festival (as a boutique/food vendor, sponsor, in entertainment, artisan, health fair, eco-friendly, for-profit community, non-profit community, or even volunteer) feel free to fill out an application on our website at www.laparks.org/lotusfestival. 751 Echo Park Ave. Los Angeles CA 90026
The entire Month of July at the Norton Simon Museum
If you are looking for lectures, Art classes, tours and events for the kids, be sure to check out the list of events at the Norton Simon Museum.
Event link: https://www.nortonsimon.org/events/?&category=0&sort=3&view=3&search=&startDate=2019-7-1&endDate=2019-7-31
July Music in the Park
La Canada memorial Park Summer concert series continues.
The City's Music in the Park Summer Concert Series is held at Memorial Park during the summer on Sunday evenings from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Concerts traditionally begin Memorial Day weekend and continue through the end of August. Featured bands play a variety of music from rock and roll, blues, reggae, and country. All are welcome to bring a picnic basket, blankets, and lawn chairs and enjoy an evening with family and friends.
This year the City is collecting feedback regarding the concert series. The surveys are completely anonymous. Please let us know about your experience for each event you attend using our ONLINE SURVEY.
Roaring Nights at the Zoo
With dancing, full bars, and L.A.’s wildest hosts, it’s the 21-and-over way to do the Zoo. The L.A. Zoo works to save endangered species every day, and, with our Roaring Nights summer music series, we’re working overtime to save your social life, too.
Friday, July 19 - Featuring DJ Severe, Fast Times, DJ Johnny Hawkes, Chulita Vinyl Club, and HUSH Silent Disco
See the entire list of events: https://www.lazoo.org/roaringnights/
The Autry Museum – Investigating Griffith Park Now on View
About the Exhibition
What makes Griffith Park special to you? For many Angelinos, the name evokes a panorama of memories—from picnics, hikes, horses, and softball games to the zoo, observatory, trains, and, of course, the Autry.
But how much do you really know about Griffith Park? How did it come to be, and what are its best-kept secrets? Join us as we explore stories about Griffith Park, a landscape that we honor as Tongva/Gabrielino land and a public park for Los Angeles.
We welcome your feedback as we transform one of the Autry’s core galleries into an experimental, hands-on space to prototype ideas for a future exhibition. Through Investigating Griffith Park, we are gathering input from hundreds of visitors and experts to reveal some of the many stories from the park’s 4,000-plus acres. More Events and Exhibitions at the Autry: https://theautry.org/exhibitions/investigating-griffith-park
How Consumers Can Avoid Real Estate Scams
Agents, mainly those new to the real estate industry, may be unaware of the various risks surrounding a transaction. From wire fraud to title-related scams, today’s consumers, agents, and other transaction vendors can be at risk of losing several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of days.
The dangers are increasing—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports that phishing attempts have increased 1,100 percent between 2015 and 2017, and in 2017 alone, transaction cost losses due to mortgage fraud reached nearly $1 billion.
As many will say, consumer awareness is the No. 1 way to avoid being victimized by a real estate scam. However, this is made significantly easier if agents know what these dangers are and how to properly educate their clients on how to avoid them.
Here are a few real estate-related scams and how they could have been prevented.
For a family in Florida, who was, at first, completely unaware that any fraud had occurred, losing their home was a real possibility. Susan Spofford had found the dream home for her and her family on the Treasure Coast. Their offer was accepted, and the process was moving along smoothly—right up until the closing. When her attorney asked them to provide the $77,000 required for closing costs, Spofford knew something was wrong—they had already paid the sum via an email request for a wire transfer. The family had become a victim of wire fraud via a sophisticated email hack. While the Spofford family was lucky enough to be able to pay for the closing costs at the last minute, they did lose out on $77,000 dollars, which they will likely never see again.
How could this have been avoided? Here are the tell-tale signs that the request was not legitimate:
- The email address was not a perfect match.
Although the display name matched that of the attorney’s secretary, and the office’s logo and contact information was correct, the email address itself was slightly off. In the case of email phishing, a single letter may be switched out, or the sender may have changed the account from @gmail or @outlook to something that looks very similar.
Often, when it comes to email-related scams, the fraudsters will try to get everything as close as possible in order to bait the target. Agents should implore their clients to look at this information very closely to assure it is actually coming from the agent, the attorney, the lender or anyone else who has a role within the real estate transaction.
- The message directed them to contact only via email.
In this case, the individual posing as the attorney told the Spofford family that he would be “busy with limited access” to his phone. Agents should tell their clients to immediately call the person who sent the email, or confirm with them in person, even if fraud is not suspected. Any time money or sensitive information is requested, the client should take steps to verify the authenticity of the sender.
Raymond Murray, a 67-year-old New York resident, could no longer work, his wife had passed, and he was unable to afford living expenses on his disability check. During this vulnerable time, he was approached by a man named Mario Alvarenga, who said he could offer solutions to his problems by helping him avoid foreclosure, eliminate legal fees and reduce his monthly mortgage payment. Murray soon found out, however, that instead of his problems being fixed, they were added onto—he lost his home to fraud.
Here’s how it all went wrong:
- He was told to fire his attorney.
The most significant sign that something isn’t right is being directed to fire the person who is protecting your legal well-being. Agents should warn consumers that anyone asking that they end their relationship with their lawyer, agent, lender, advisor, etc. may be involved in something nefarious.
- A lawyer or financial advisor didn't read the paperwork.
What looked like a mortgage restructuring was actually a stealthily-obscured contract for sale. Any time clients have to sign something, ensure they are working with someone reputable and who has their best interest at heart.
- Alvarenga was not vetted.
If consumers decide not to pursue a relationship with one of the agents’ vendors, who have been vetted and are trusted sources, ensure their own pick has been thoroughly researched. Consumers should be educated on how to look for signs of fraud through reviews and online research. Additionally, if ever in doubt, agents should be a resource to them in confirming the validity of the services their clients are hoping to engage in. A second set of eyes never hurts.
This past May, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged George Slowinski, principal/owner of Rebuilding America, LLC, which said it offered real estate investments based on home flipping, with committing over $20 million worth of real estate fraud in South Side Chicago. Slowinski was diverting 34 percent to 42 percent of every dollar earned from investors, a total of $2.8 million, to improperly pay for his company’s payroll, overhead and cost overruns on other projects without notifying investors.
While details surrounding the investors’ relationships with Slowinski are unavailable, here’s what agents can tell their investor clients:
- Be wary.
Research everything thoroughly. Consult a financial advisor before investing in a home flip. Additionally, use a real estate agent to determine if the property’s valuation post-renovation is actually viable. Too often, investors are promised an attractive cut, only to find out that the earning potential is much less, if anything at all.
- Walk away from “guaranteed” returns.
The market fluctuates; therefore, what may be a good financial decision one month may prove to be a weaker return if the market shifts by the time the renovation is done, and when the property is finally listing-ready a few months later. If someone is promising a guaranteed return, be vigilant.
- Don’t rush in.
If looking to purchase a flipped home, consumers should follow their agent’s and home inspector’s lead to determine if the value is there. What may appear to be a full renovation may actually be a scam disguised by surface repair work.
Real estate scams can be prevented if the consumer is savvy; however, that rarely comes without the help of an agent who can educate them on how to spot these red flags.
Offbeat Wacky July Holidays
- Dog Days of Summer - July 3 - August 11
- National Blueberry Month
- National Anti-Boredom Month
- Unlucky Month for weddings
- National Cell Phone Courtesy Month
- National Hot Dog Month
- National Ice Cream Month
- National Picnic Month
- Week 2 - Nude Recreation Week
- Week 3 - Capture the Sunset Week
July 2019 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:
Sidewalk Egg Frying Day- Hmmmm, I wonder why!?!
Work-a-holics Day - even though everyone is on holiday
International Cherry Pit Spitting Day - first Saturday of month
Build A Scarecrow Day - first Sunday in month
Cow Appreciation Day- Go out and give a cow a hug
National Hot Dog Day - third Wednesday in July
National Caviar Day- something's fishy here
National Ice Cream Day - third Sunday of the month
System Administrator Appreciation Day - last Friday in July
National Day of the Cowboy - fourth Saturday in July
Parent's Day - fourth Sunday in July
Robbyn Battles selling real estate in the Foothills of La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills and all the surrounding neighborhoods for over 30 years. Watch my latest shows: Community Corner and my newest series Year of the House
Robbyn Battles • Battles Real Estate • JohnHart Real Estate • “Real Estate Redefined” 1420 Foothill Blvd. La Canada-Flintridge CA 91011, 818-388-1631