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What to Do If You Get an Offer … But Your Home Isn’t for Sale

Courtesy of Zillow!

It’s the knock on the door that comes out of left field. Or the unexpected envelope in the mail. A stranger says he wants to buy your house, and for a great price.

Or what’s even more common is that a friend of a friend or acquaintance approaches you about her desire to purchase your home.

What should you do when you receive an offer from a buyer when your home isn’t even on the market? It happens more than you would think, and it’s helpful to consider your options, whether you’ve thought about selling or not.

Why does this happen?

While you go about your day-to-day business and enjoy your home, able-and-ready buyers are desperate to be homeowners. In many parts of the country, inventory for homes is still at all-time lows.

Quite frankly, there just aren’t enough options for buyers, so they have to think outside the box.  Some aggressive buyers take matters into their own hands, mailing letters to homes in their desired neighborhoods and hoping for a winner.

What do you do?

If you have no desire whatsoever to sell your home, do nothing. But some homeowners will want to hear what the buyers have to say, while others might seriously consider an off-market offer.

Your first step is simply to listen. You’ll want to vet the prospective buyer over the phone to make sure they’re serious.

Ask how long they’ve been looking, if they’ve made other offers already, and what their desired areas are.

Then ask them why they chose your home. A buyer who mails an offer to you and only you probably really wants your home, as opposed to those buyers sending postcards to 50 people.

Hear them out and better understand their motivations, experience in the market, and possible price or terms, if any.

You will likely need to show them the home. If they seem serious, take that step, but be cautious letting a stranger into your home.

Enlisting a real estate agent

If you used the help of an excellent local agent when you purchased your home, you might want to re-engage them at some point.

While buyers and sellers dream of consummating a deal and saving money on real estate commissions, it’s often a better strategy to consult with an honest and experienced agent. A good agent looks out for the long-term relationship, and being an adviser to an off-market sale is in their best interest as well.

Many agents will assist in an off-market deal for a reduced commission, since they don’t have to prepare and show the home for weeks or months.

Off-market deals may not pan out

These deals don’t always come to fruition for a variety of reasons — frequently, it’s because the seller isn’t motivated enough to let the property go.

And in nearly every off-market deal, there’s a struggle over the last few thousand dollars — and that conflict often keeps the sale from happening.

The buyer wants a discount, because they know the seller isn’t paying a real estate commission. The seller wants their market value because the home is worth what the home is worth. Both parties wish to benefit from the commission savings.

In most cases, if the buyer wants to buy, they need to pony up. The seller has what they want, and purchasing off the market is, in some ways, an opportunity they need to pay for.

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Understanding Renters’ Legal Rights

Courtesy of Zillow!

Renting a home can be highly beneficial for anyone seeking a short-term housing option or a lower commitment than a home purchase.

However, this option can lead to uncomfortable issues in the event a landlord is lax in following the terms of the lease agreement — or otherwise forgets that renters have legal rights.

Here are some of the more common issues that arise between renters and landlords. If you think your landlord is acting outside the bounds of state and federal housing laws, be sure you have a little legal ammo to make your argument.

Security deposits

Security deposits for leasers are highly regulated in most states, and lease agreements must clearly and unambiguously detail the specific instances in which a landlord may withhold all or some of a deposit.

First, the deposit must be in a sensible amount (such as the sum of two months’ rent).

Second, a landlord may only keep the deposit if there is a definitive reason that falls within the terms of the lease. Wrongful withholding is undoubtedly fodder for a claim against the landlord for the return of the money, as well as for costs and fees associated with bringing the issue to court.

Accommodations

All renters have a right to reasonable accommodations for a disability. In the context of apartment complexes, a landlord must set aside a certain number of units that are accessible to people with a physical handicap. This means rooms must be accessible from the ground floor, fitted with accommodating bathroom and/or kitchen fixtures, and generally compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Also, all landlords must accommodate renters who rely on specially trained service animals, even if the building as a whole maintains a no-pets policy.

Repairs

Renters have the right to timely, competent repairs to major appliances and fixtures — provided the damage occurred as a result of normal wear and tear or other forces outside the renter’s control.

By contrast, damage that the renter causes is generally not the landlord’s responsibility to repair. If a landlord is taking an unreasonably long time to fix the problem, a renter may usually arrange for the repair himself and withhold rent in the amount of the repair. Be sure to save your receipts as proof.

Privacy and safety

Renters have a right to both privacy and safety in their leased unit. This means that a landlord is not permitted to enter a renter’s private unit unannounced.

Further, a landlord must contact the renter prior to sending repair technicians or inspectors — and must respect the renter’s schedule when scheduling maintenance.

With regard to safety, a landlord must maintain the premises to control known dangers or hazards — which may include extensive locks, deadbolts, or special entrance codes as well as the presence of security personnel and surveillance cameras.

Rent and eviction

Of course, renters are obligated to pay rent each month. However, as mentioned above, the payment of rent may be premised on the dwelling’s habitability — and renters may be within their rights to withhold rent if the landlord fails to attend to certain major repairs.

Additionally, renters have the right to fulfill the terms of the lease agreement, and may not be evicted arbitrarily without cause during the rental term.

If a landlord attempts to evict a tenant prior to the conclusion of the lease, the renter may initiate a lawsuit against the landlord for the costs — both direct and incidental — associated with finding a new place to live on unreasonably short notice.

Moreover, a landlord who is believed to be evicting tenants for discriminatory or fraudulent reasons could face criminal culpability in many jurisdictions, if proven guilty.

Renters enjoy a long list of rights pursuant to the lease agreement and state and federal laws. Any violations of these rights can lead to a lawsuit by the renter, as well as bad publicity for the landlord. So renters take heed: You’re covered.

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2015′s Most Valuable Housing Markets

Courtesy of Zillow!

In 2015, the value of all homes across the U.S. increased $1.1 trillion, growing 4.1 percent over the past year. At year end, the entire housing stock is expected to be valued at $28.5 trillion — $10 trillion more than 2015’s third quarter U.S. gross domestic product.

The most valuable market going into 2016 is the Los Angeles metro, with a total value of $2.4 trillion. California as a whole accounts for almost a quarter of the country’s cumulative home value, which isn’t surprising considering it’s home to high-valued markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.

Meanwhile, renters spent $535 billion on housing in 2015 — nearly as much as the total budget of the Department of Defense ($575 billion). That’s almost $20 billion more than in 2014, due to 1.8 million new renter households and rental prices rising at record pace.

Renters in the New York/Northern New Jersey market spent the most on rent in 2015 — about $56 billion.

Here are the 10 most valuable housing markets and the 10 markets that paid the most rent in 2015.

Total home value at year end

  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA – $2.4 trillion
  2. New York/Northern New Jersey – $2.3 trillion
  3. San Francisco, CA – $1.2 trillion
  4. Washington, DC – $939 billion
  5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL – $773 billion
  6. Chicago, IL – $741 billion
  7. Boston, MA – $634 billion
  8. San Jose, CA – $614 billion
  9. San Diego, CA – $574 billion
  10. Philadelphia, PA – $567 billion

Total rent paid at year end

  1. New York/Northern New Jersey – $55.9 billion
  2. Los, Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA – $34.5 billion
  3. San Francisco, CA – $16.7 billion
  4. Chicago, IL – $16.5 billion
  5. Washington, DC – $14.0 billion
  6. Boston, MA – $13.4 billion
  7. Houston, TX – $13.1 billion
  8. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX – $12.8 billion
  9. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL – $11.2 billion
  10. Seattle, WA – $10.2 billion

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How to Personalize Your Rental Space (Without Losing Your Deposit)

Courtesy of Zillow!

Rental living can be the perfect option for your family — it might be a great way to save money, let you live close to work, or pick up and move whenever you want to.

However, it can be a real drag when you can’t customize your apartment or rental house the way you want. Being limited to the chosen colors, fixtures, and finishes can put a dent in your style.

Never fear! You can change up the look of your bedroom, kitchen, living room and more — all with zero commitment or permanent alterations that might cost you your deposit.

Follow these tips and tricks to make your home fit your style — without ticking off your landlord.

Lively living spaces

Your living room is where you spend the majority of your time. When you’re chilling on the couch, watching football, bonding over family game night, or hosting fancy soirees, you want this space to reflect your style.

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Blasé beige is not super stylish, so cover up drab walls with colorful posters, tapestries, and family photos. Add statement pieces of furniture like a poppy end table or a killer credenza to draw eyes away from boring builder-grade construction.

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Layer pretty rugs over bad carpeting. If you live in a small space like a studio without a ton of living space, create designated areas for working, playing and relaxing by using curtains or bookshelves to cordon off and customize what you need.

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Kitchen style that cooks

The kitchen seems like it should be a hard room to customize since you can’t really change up permanent elements like countertops, cabinets, fixtures, or paint colors.

However, there are actually a lot of cool options to up the glam factor in your kitchen without breaking your lease agreement. Switch out cabinet knobs and pulls with some you love — just keep the originals so you can put them back when you move.

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A great high-impact trick is to put up realistic-looking peel-and-stick tiles over the existing backsplash, then simply peel them off when your lease is up.

You can also make your kitchen look cohesive by adding splashes of coordinating color using dishes, bar stools, hand towels, flowers and more for a collected and intentional look. Try incorporating some of the art deco flourishes or one-of-a-kind artisan accessories that areon trend for 2016.

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Bedroom bliss

You want your bedroom to be an oasis where you can recharge after a long day. But when you’re met with cramped quarters, boring paint, and old dirty carpets, it can be hard to find your Zen.

Soothing colors, statement art, and natural textured rugs (a hot look this year) can create the perfect escape.

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Play up what you have to work with. If your room is small and dark, make it into a cozy getaway by stringing up twinkle lights, piling up cozy blankets, and adding a plush rug.

Or conversely, brighten up your pad by infusing pops of color. Use adhesive strips or double-stick tape to hang inspirational prints and family photos without leaving a mark.

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And if you really need to mix it up, try making over your furniture for a new take.

Whether you can’t stand your shag carpet or are bored to tears by beige paint in every room, there are ways to get around permanent rental features.

By getting creative and adding color, covering walls with art, and working with what you have, you can easily and temporarily transform your home to fit your desires. Keep your landlord happy without sacrificing your style.

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How Buyers Should Prepare for Their Final Walk-Through

Courtesy of Zillow!

The final walk-through in real estate was designed so that the buyer can confirm the home is in the same condition as when they made their offer and had the home inspected. Its also an opportunity to make sure the seller has actually vacated.

From time to time, a buyer and seller will have negotiated any number of fixes during escrow. The walk-through gives the buyer a chance to make sure all the agreed-upon work has been done to specifications, and that everything is in working order.

Sometimes, buyers are so excited to close that they quickly whisk through the walk-through without taking time to inspect the property. This can lead to small issues once the buyers take ownership. On the other hand, the final walk-through can raise both positive and negative emotions during this final part of the sale process.

It’s smart to take the walk-through seriously. Don’t see it as simply checking a box.  You should run all the faucets and check for leaks. Flush the toilet bowls, open every window and close it and make sure the appliances work.

Here are some tips for buyers to help complete a smooth and effective walk-through.

Don’t do the walk-through the day of closing

A walk-through can uncover repairs that need to be made, but that you didn’t know about before. If you do the walk-through the same day as the closing, there may not be time to get problems remedied.

It’s not uncommon for two walk-throughs to happen. The first identifies some issues for the buyer, and the second makes sure those issues were addressed.

The alternative is to push the closing back to address the issues.  The problem here is that your lender may not have approved a delayed closing. It’s better to hammer out any issues in advance.

Use your mobile phone to check the outlets

Plug a phone into all of the outlets to make sure the electricity works. You want to avoid moving in all your stuff, only to realize some outlets don’t work, and you lack light in a bedroom.

Bring your phone and charger to the walk-through and test all the outlets. It’s quick and easy.

Be on the lookout for the sellers’ leftover belongings

Sellers are notorious for leaving junk behind, so take the time to check the garage and attic, and under the deck. The sellers may just assume you want their old paint cans or a propane tank for a future grill.

In fact, they should leave the place completely empty. Some left-behind items, such as the paint, can be toxic or require special provisions for disposal. For example, one seller left behind all kinds of used oil that needed to go to a certain, state-approved car repair shop to be disposed of properly. These unwanted items become yours after you close.

Be emotionally prepared for a surprise

Buyers often fall in love with a home that’s full of furniture, art and belongings. They see it as a home, and remember a warm feeling.

Fast-forward to the close of escrow and you’re faced with an empty home, which can feel cold, sterile or hollow.

Buyers are often surprised by how they feel entering an empty home. Not only is it absent any furniture and “stuff,” but sometimes an empty home shows its imperfections, too.

The sun may have slightly bleached floors, showing the outline of a rug. There may be carpet stains or holes in the wall from a flat-screen TV or paintings. An empty home tends to show poorly, so prepare yourself before the walk-through.

The journey toward homeownership is often a long one, filled with lots of excitement and ups and downs. The final walk-through is one of the very last steps of what could be a multiple-year process.

Consider the walk-through in advance and prepare for it mentally, emotionally and physically. Know what you want to look for, have a checklist, and keep your emotions and feelings in check. Doing so will make for a smooth ride to the close of escrow.

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The 5 Most Common Home Insurance Claims

Courtesy of Zillow!

Home insurance is necessary to protect one of the largest investments you’ll likely make in your lifetime. Homeowners purchase coverage to protect their homes and belongings from specified perils, all the while hoping they’ll never have to file an insurance claim.

Standard policies can protect a home and its contents from disasters such as fire, wind, theft, hail and more, depending on your provider and the coverage you select.

About one in every 15 insured homes has a claim each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Here’s a look at the five most common claims.

1. Wind and hail

The most common types of insurance claims are wind and hail. These claims can include hailstorms and windstorms, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. These perils are typically covered by home insurance, but may have to be purchased as a separate policy, depending on the region in which you live.

If you live in Tornado Alley or in coastal states along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, your basic home insurance coverage may not include wind and hail. Call your agent to discuss your options, and ensure that your home is covered from these perils if you live in areas where they’re common.

2. Water damage and freezing

Much of the country experiences low temperatures during the winter. So low, in fact, that those homes can fall victim to burst and/or leaking pipes, if not properly insulated. The good news is that this category of water damage, as well as rainwater and ice storms, istypically covered by home insurance policies.

Inspect your pipes to ensure that there aren’t any leaks. Keep pipes insulated during the winter, and run warm water through all faucets and shower heads occasionally to help prevent freezing — and subsequently bursting — pipes.

3. All other property damage

According to the III, this category includes vandalism and malicious mischief. Here are a few examples:

  • Your home is egged.
  • Outdoor lights or windows are broken.
  • Someone digs up your garden.
  • Your trees or bushes are cut or slashed.
  • Your locks are tampered with.
  • Your home is defaced with spray paint.

Standard home insurance policies can cover these types of perils. If this coverage isn’t listed in your policy, talk to your agent about adding it.

4. Theft

Imagine arriving home after work and seeing your front door kicked in or a window shattered. Upon further investigation, you find your home ransacked. There’s a blank space on the wall where the flat-screen TV was, your laptop is nowhere to be found, and your earrings and necklaces have been plucked from the jewelry box on your dresser.

There were an estimated 2,159,878 burglaries in 2010, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and 74 percent occurred at residential properties.

Consider these tips to decrease the likelihood of your home being burglarized:

  • Invest in a home security system, and make sure it’s working properly. One of the biggest deterrents for burglars is a sign in your front yard advertising that your home is protected by a security system.
  • Alert police and a trusted neighbor when you’re traveling. If you’re going out of town for a long time, police can drive by your home to make sure that nothing looks suspicious. Neighbors also can keep an eye on your house and collect your mail to avoid newspapers piling up, which signals to burglars that no one is home.
  • Don’t hide a spare key outside. Hiding a spare key is a game of Russian roulette that you should avoid playing. No matter how great your hiding place is, a burglar could still find it and gain access to your home. Give your spare key to a friend instead.
  • Always secure doors and windows. Before leaving your home, double check that all doors and windows are locked so burglars aren’t able to simply walk in.

5. Fire and lightning

Although these perils aren’t the most frequent types of claims, they are among the most expensive. The average fire and lightning claim between 2009 and 2013 was $37,153, which is $17,687 more than the second-most severe types of claims (bodily injury and property damage), and $29,412 more than the third-costliest claims (wind and hail), according to the III.

Whether a grease fire in the kitchen ignites and sets your entire home ablaze, or lightning strikes and throws your electrical system out of whack, you could receive help from your insurance provider to repair damage or replace what’s been destroyed.

Call your carrier to make sure these perils are covered and to discuss the parameters of your policy. If your home were to burn to the ground, it’s imperative that you have the correct amount of coverage to help you rebuild.

Minimize losses

To minimize losses from these typically covered perils, create or update a home inventory and review your policy annually.

If you’re unfamiliar, a home inventory is a complete list of all your possessions and their values that you can present to your home insurance provider if/when you file a claim in order to speed up the process.

If you don’t already have one, take the time to create one. Trying to remember everything you own — and how much you spent on each item — when your home is in disrepair due to a covered peril is extremely difficult and daunting. Save yourself the added stress by creating the inventory now, making multiple copies, and storing them in safe spaces.

Also, review your policy each year and talk it through with your agent. Your needs may vary greatly with each passing year, and it’s important to make sure you have the right coverage to protect yourself, your home and your family.

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Factors to Consider When Pricing Your Home to Sell

Courtesy of Zillow!

Unlike the cost of a gallon of milk or a flat-screen television, a home’s price can be hard to pin down. It’s complicated because each home is unique, and has its own story to tell.

When it comes to setting the price of a house, the only thing to do is to look at the recent sales and active listings of similar homes in your area. Combine this research with the inside market knowledge of a local real estate agent, and you can confidently choose your list price.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when determining how much to ask for your house.

Make sure to look at recent comps

Markets change fast, so it’s best to find comparable sales within the past three months. If you go back too far, you will see homes where a deal might have been made many months before it closed.

Real estate markets can turn on a dime, so a deal put together more than six months ago isn’t applicable. Pending sales are your best indicator of the current market’s conditions.

Understand that fixtures and finishes matter

Let’s face it, buyers prefer a tastefully home renovated home with neutral finishes and fixtures over an unrenovated home, one stuck in the ’80s, or one with outlandish decorations.

When looking at comparable houses online, you must be objective. If your home isn’t updated, it’s not going to sell for as much.

Here’s the good news: The amount of money it would cost to upgrade your house is probably a lot less than the difference in value. Be open to making some small changes before listing.

No two homes are alike

The 2,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath home with two-car parking on a quarter acre down the street just closed for $500,000. That means your home — also a 2,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath house with two-car parking on a quarter acre — is also worth $500,000, right?

Not so fast. What you don’t realize is that the other home’s three bedrooms are not all on the top floor, and that the home lacks an en-suite master bathroom, its kitchen is closed off from the living areas, and the layout is choppy.

Buyers pay more for better floor plans and flow. Your home, with an open concept kitchen/living area and three bedrooms all near each other, is much more valuable.

Small nuances in the market will affect price

Understand that each comparable home requires some serious research before calling it a “comp.” A house down the block may seem like it’s the same location as yours, but it could be in a different school or tax district, which will affect its value.

A smaller home may have sold for 20 percent more than yours, but maybe it was on a double lot that could be split, which makes it more valuable to a builder or developer.

If you see a nearby home with a price that seems off the mark, there must be a reason. Dig deeper to uncover what it is, and realize that the home may not, in fact, be a comparable one.

Go see homes for sale

Rarely does anyone decide to sell overnight. Once you realize a sale is in your future, get out and see what’s in your market. Check out open houses nearby to see the interiors for yourself.

Homes you see in January will likely be pending or closed by the time you list in April. Or they may still be on the market, which is an indication of poor pricing.

Check out the different floor plans, finishes and fixtures of nearby homes for sale, and consider whether each is more or less valuable than yours.

The best seller is the informed one. So don’t rely solely on your agent’s word about a particular house, or the market in general.

Use your agent as a resource

The earlier you bring a local real estate agent into the fold, the better. Top agents tour properties regularly, and know their market inside and out. They can likely explain the seemingly inexplicable, and offer tips to help make your home more valuable.

A good agent has the inside knowledge on pending homes sales and their finger on the pulse of the market 24/7. But remember to research independently, and never rely solely on the advice of your agent.

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1bd/1ba Rental in West Hollywood

Address: 1275 Havenhurst Dr, Apt 2, West Hollywood, CA 90046

One bedroom, one bathroom unit with lots of windows for exceptional light! Remodeled kitchen with plenty of cabinets. Unit has a square footage of 864 sqft. Amenities include controlled access, community laundry, pool & secure parking. Complex is well maintained. The building is on one of West Hollywood’s most coveted streets, close to dining, shopping & entertainment between Santa Monica and Sunset. 

Security Deposit is equivalent to 1 month’s rent
Utilities: Tenant pays electric and gas
Pets are subject to landlord’s approval 

***Rental Requirements***
* Must show proof of income for last 3 months
* Must have a minimum 650 credit score
* Preferred with a minimum income of 2x Monthly rent

Asking $2,200 monthly

Unit will be available on: Dec 1st, 2015

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Just Sold – Duplex in Mid City

Address: 1365-1367 S Hudson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Duplex located in Mid-City, great central location. Spacious side by side Duplex. Each unit has one bedroom, and one bathroom, dining area, and laundry area inside. This property also has two detached garages and a huge backyard! Great opportunity to live in one and rent other. Both units will be delivered vacant. 

Original List Price: $589,900 | 22 Days On Market  |  Sold for: $615,000

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Celebrating Dia de los Muertos ~ The Day of the Dead in L.A.

Courtesy of Parentpick.com

We all have people we love who have passed away.  In Mexican tradition, we get to reunite with these beloved souls one time a year:  on Día de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead. Celebrated on All Saints’ Day, Día de los Muertos is a joyous welcoming back of a family’s ancestors.  It’s like a family reunion for the living and the dead and it gets celebrated in style: elaborately decorated sugar skulls and masks; bright, colorful clothing and face paint; skeleton costumes; tremendous amounts of delicious food; lively music; and stunning altars made to remember and welcome the souls who visit this one special night of the year.

L.A.’s rich Latin culture gives us many opportunities to continue this tradition or join in it and make it a part of our family’s ways too.  Please note that while this is a festival and a happy occasion, it is NOT Halloween!  The ancestors’ presence is felt but not seen (ghost costumes, grim reapers, etc. are not a part of the Day of the Dead).  If you’re unfamiliar with Día de los Muertos and plan to attend a celebration, take a look at what to wear – the outfits and makeup are gorgeous! – and be respectful of the thousand years of tradition and culture that are embodied in this day.  You will love celebrating your dear ones who have passed on.

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

Hollywood Cemetary: dia de los muertos events in los angeles

Hollywood Forever is a cemetery unlike any other in the world. Built in 1899, it’s the final resting place for more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on earth and also hosts many cultural events, including concerts and summer movie nights.  Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever cemetery takes place in an authentic venue where ancient traditions can be genuinely observed. Día de Los Muertos attire is strongly encouraged at this 16th Annual Festival, so arrive dressed in your finest calaca apparel! You can spend an eventful day relaxing and then watch the evening stars appear as the cemetery comes to life with joyful celebrations. Enjoy fine Mexican cuisine and a wide spectrum of Day of the Dead arts and crafts available for purchase. There will be a vibrant traditional procession in the home of Hollywood’s Immortals with traditional Aztec blessings and regional musical-dance group dedications, musical performances by Grammy Award-winning recording artists, 100+ Altars created by members of the community to their ancestors and loved ones, hundreds of Aztec Ritual Dancers in full costume, a costume contest for the best dressed calaca(skeleton) and a children’s arts project area presented by LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art), plus much more! Admission is $20. Children 8 and under, and seniors 65 and over, are free until 4 pm.

  • October 24, noon-midnight
  • Admission is $20. Children 8 and under, and seniors 65 and over, are free until 4 pm
  • 323-469-1181
  • www.ladayofthedead.com
  • Los Angeles 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. CA 90038

GRAND PARK DOWNTOWN DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS CONCERT

Grand Park: dia de los muertos events in los angeles

Head downtown to enjoy the Grand Park Downtown Día de los Muertos Concert with the family.  There will be free face painting for kids (until 8 pm); food trucks; altars where you can bring your own offerings; amazing live bands, including Palenke Soultribe, La Chamba, Very be Careful and DJ Paw; and traditional dance groups Xocoyote (Aztec), Nueva Antequera (Oaxacan) and the Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company will perform. See the beautiful and intricate folkloric sculptures and altars, as well as large-scale botanic installations. There’s even a bar for the parents! Admission is FREE!

  • October 24-November 2
  • 213-972-8080
  • grandparkla.org/ai1ec_event/downtown-dia-de-los-muertos-concert
  • www.grandparkla.org
  • Los Angeles 200 North Grand Avenue CA 90012

OLVERA STREET: NOVENARIO PROCESSIONS AND FIESTA MUERTOS

Olvera Street Dia de los Muertos

Olvera Street celebrates Dia de los Muertos with nine nights of Novenario processions andFiesta Muertos, two entire weekends of children’s workshops, music, dancing, parades, unique altars and more!

  • Novenaria: October 25 – November 2, 2015 Time: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Celebration: Sunday, November 1 and Monday, November 2, 2015
  • 213-628-1274
  • http://www.olveraevents.com
  • Los Angeles 125 Paseo De La Plaza CA 90012

WOODLAWN CEMETERY’S DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS CELEBRATION

Woodland Cemetery: dia de los muertos events in los angeles

Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica hosts a traditional Dia de los Muertos celebration where family and friends gather to honor and celebrate loved ones who have passed. The event focuses on the traditions that make up this celebration of life and death. There are a variety of ways participants can discover the philosophy and history of the day, including an opening procession led by Ketzaliztli dancers, a workshop to create offerings of marigoldcoronitas (crowns) and papel picado (perforated paper), self-guided tours of the cemetery that explore the history of local famous people, a documentary on how a small town in Mexico prepares for the holiday, a traditional Nahuatl ceremonial blessing, and musicians performing throughout the cemetery to honor the dead. Woodlawn Cemetery is situated on 26 acres and has views of the Santa Monica mountains and ocean. The event is FREE and bike valet and parking are available.

 SAN PEDRO’S DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS FESTIVAL

San Pedro: dia de los muertos events in los angeles

Historic Downtown San Pedro celebrates Día de los Muertos with art, culture, delicious cuisine and live entertainment. Arrive hungry! You will definitely want to sample the delicious Latin American food from local restaurants. Kids will enjoy the La Muerte Vive! Art Area where they can make a special, free take-home craft. You can also have your face painted to help you get in the spirit! Six Street between Mesa and Centre Streets will be filled with the sounds of traditional and contemporary Latin-American performers. The Altar of Remembrance is a community altar where anyone who has lost a loved one is invited to leave a picture, personal note or other small item of remembrance. Lastly, don’t forget to stop by the Artists Village where there will be whimsical calaveras (skulls) and calacas(skeletons of all shapes and sizes), handmade jewelry, clothing and other specialty items, all made by local artists!

EL CENTRO CULTURAL DE MEXICO, NOCHE DE ALTARES

El Centro Cultural de Mexico is a space in Santa Ana where the community can find cultural, educational, and artistic activities that strengthen their identities, develop their talents and develop a sense of leadership in their community. El Centro’s celebration of Día de los Muertos is called Noche de Altares (Night of the Altars). This event brings people from all over and it grows every year so go early if you want to beat the crowds (though being with community is a huge part of a this celebration, so you choose!). There is a lot to see and do, from traditional altars, visual arts, arts & crafts for kids, vendors selling good food, live performances and more!

  • Saturday, November 7th, 2015, 1:00pm – 10:00pm
  • 714-333-6161
  • www.nochedealtares.org
  • Santa Ana 4th and Birch Streets CA 92701

MUSEUM OF LATIN AMERICAN ART

MOLAA: dia de los muertos events in los angeles

The Museum of Latin American Art is celebrating Día de los Muertos in style on November 2. The annual family-friendly festival features art workshops, live performances, gallery tours, food, face painting, unique craft vendors, an altar display contest, and a community altar dedicated to author Gabriel García Márquez. Día de Los Muertos attire is strongly encouraged. Make sure to arrive dressed as a calavera! Admission to this event is FREE!
If you can’t make it on November 2 or if you want the kids to get even more involved, MOLAA will be celebrating Día de los Muertos October 26 through November 2! There will be various classes and demonstrations, including mask making, drop-in arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations (and tasting!), face painting, live music and theater. Check MOLAA’s website for a schedule of events.

  • October 26 – November 2, check website for ongoing events
  • November 2, 11 am-5 pm, main celebration
  • 562-437-1689
  • www.molaa.org
  • Long Beach 628 Alamitos Ave. CA 90802

DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS VENTURA COUNTY

Ventura County: dia de los muertos events in los angeles

Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory and the Inlakech Cultural Arts Center will be hosting the 7th Annual Día de Los Muertos Ventura County ceremony and celebration, preserving the traditional Mexican spiritual practices of honoring the dead. This year’s theme is “Siguiendo Nuestras Tradiciones (Continuing Our Traditions). Take a day with the family and observe the traditional altars from Mexico and especially from the Mixteco-Oaxaca Communities, and see how these traditions are maintained in the United States. This FREE event is from 11 am – 6 pm. This will be a memorable celebration with the community, live music and cultural performances, vendor booths, arts and crafts, and authentic Latino foods.

KIDSPACE MUSEUM DIA DE LOS MUERTOS KIDS WORKSHOP

Kidspace Museum Dia De Los Muertos Event

Join the festivities with a kid-friendly twist. Create calaveras masks, drawings of loved ones, and paper flower and monarch butterfly rings to represent returning spirits. Dance to traditional Mariachi music and decorate a sugar skull cookie to take home. Event is free with museum admission.

Cookie decorating activity will be $3 and there will be a special Kid Workshop “How-To-Sugar-Your-Skull” at 12pm and 2pm is $7 per child. Pre-registration is recommended for the Kid Workshop.

HOW-TO-SUGAR-YOUR-SKULL

Create a theatrical Dia De Los Muertos makeup design on paper and then transfer it onto your face! Adorn your hair with flowers, and play dress up in celebration of this Traditional Mexican Holiday! Recommended for ages 5-8yrs. Parents must accompany their children to the workshop.

BOWERS MUSEUM & KIDSEUM’S DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS FAMILY FESTIVAL

Bower Museum: dia de los muertos events in los angeles

The Bowers Museum hosts an annual Día de los Muertos Family Festival. Take the kids to view the beautiful memorial altar and leave a note for a departed loved one, listen to classical Latin American music, including Mariachi, watch live performances, have your face painted, decorate sugar skulls and make muertos art projects too!

  • November 1, 10 am-4 pm
  • 714-567-3600
  • www.bowers.org
  • Santa Ana Bowers Museum 2002 N. Main St. CA 92706
  • Santa Ana Kidseum 1802 N. Main St. CA 92706

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