It’s Snowing in Los Angeles!

This holiday season if you have a hankering for snow and don’t want to drive to the mountains you can get your cold and snowy fix at Universal Studio’s Grinchmas.  Starting on the weekend of December 11th and then daily on Dec. 18th, Universal Studios will feature fresh snow as part of their Grinchmas attraction.  Be advised this is the real deal, actual snow that is fit for snow ball fights or just a romp through cold powder.  Family members can visit Whoville and enjoy the snow, then be a part of a magical tree lighting ceremony that features a show and a celebrity reading.

Stars currently booked for the nightly celebrity reading include Stephen Moyer, Jeffrey Tambor, Brandy and Fred Willard with more to be announced.  This is a wonderful holiday adventure in our own backyards.  Currently Universal Studios is offering their holiday special, buy a park ticket to visit Universal Studios before the end of the year and get the entire year of 2011 for free!

Universal Studios offers a wide variety of attractions including the newest King Kong 3D attraction, a Shrek 4-D attraction and The Jurassic Park experience.  For more information about Grinchmas or Universal Studios visit www.universalstudioshollywood.com I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

Hanukkah at the Skirball

This year Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 1st and ends on December 9th.  Without a doubt one of the most wonderful ways to commemorate this holiday which celebrates religious freedom is to visit the amazing Skirball Center and partake of their various offerings and their Hanukkah special events.

On Thursday December 2 at 1pm and continuing on Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4 the Skirball will offer their Lights of Hanukkah Family Tour.  Part of their Focus on Visions and Values series, this gallery talk features the history and significance of this special Jewish holiday and is included free with Museum admission.

On Sunday December 5th the Skirball Center will celebrate Down Home Hanukkah! This exciting event features American Folk Art, live music, hands-on arts and crafts projects, circus arts, Hanukkah treats and open woodworking and quilting demonstrations.  It is a full day of events starting at 11am and continuing until 4pm.  Tickets for this event are $10 and do not include Museum exhibits.

Children under the age of 12 are free and welcome at the event but must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Performers featured at the event include Peter Himmelman, The Witcher Brothers, The Kinetic Theory of Circus Theatre, and drop in workshops are offered in the Candlemaker’s Craft, Zat Gezunt! Handkerchief Dolls, And Bookmark Ribbon Weaving.

Gallery exhibits featured at The Skirball Center in the month of December include: The Pieces of Me: L.A. GOALThe 1000 Journals Project , Maira Kalman: Various, Illuminations (of a Crazy World) and the world famous Noah’s Ark at the Skirball which if you haven’t seen, you should!  Be advised that Noah’s Ark tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

For more information on events at The Skirball visit www.skirball.org

 

The Encino Patch

If you are looking for a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of Encino, you need look no further than the Encino Patch.  This exciting electronic magazine or “ezine” offers daily articles about everything in an around Encino, CA. Experts from all areas of business and all walks of life contribute weekly articles about subjects of interest to Encino and surrounding area residents. 

I myself write a weekly article entitled The Real State of Real Estate.  This week’s article is ‘Tis the Season to Keep Your Home on the Market, which is filled with insight as to how and why to market your home during the Holiday season.  Recent articles include The Worst Home Selling Mistake and Enter Short Sales with Eyes Wide Open.

The Encino Patch features links to area resources and businesses as well as information about area events, arts and entertainment, sports, schools, nightlife, opportunities to volunteer and shopping.  You can visit The Encino Patch by visiting www.encino.patch.com or you can have it delivered daily to your email in box by subscribing to The Encino Patch on their home page.  Check it out and you’ll find me at “The Patch” on regular basis.  I’m Carol Wolfe and “Nobody Does it Better!”

Thankful in Encino

Thanksgiving in Encino is a wonderful time of year.  The leaves are beginning to turn, there is a nip in the air at night that makes a fire in the fireplace seem just right and the harvest of wholesome area produce is bountiful.  Area businesses are starting to deck the halls in preparation for the holidays and our mighty evergreens are more festive than ever.

One of the many things that I am grateful for this year is the wonderful Encino Farmer’s Market.  Every Sunday this open air market offers free parking at San Fernando Valley’s large certified farmer’s market.  Here our residents can find the freshest herbs, vegetables, fruits, eggs and cheeses, most of them organic and offered far cheaper than can be purchased at a traditional market.  I am a huge fan of the array of nuts and home baked goods that are offered at the market.  They certainly make the season tastier!

I am also grateful for all of the wonderful people I meet in my work as Encino’s #1 rated Realtor.  It really is true that I meet the nicest and most interesting people everyday by simply doing my job.  It is my unique pleasure to serve my clients in this wonderful community that I call home.

I hope that this Thanksgiving finds you gathered around a toasty fire place with your loved ones enjoying the fruits of the harvest.  There really is no place like home for the Holidays especially when it includes loved ones.  I’m Carol Wolfe and for Real Estate in Southern California…nobody does it better.

Halloween at Los Angeles Theme Parks

The Los Angeles area is blessed with a plethora of world-class theme parks within short driving range.  As a resident with a free day you have your choice of Knott’s Berry Farm, Lego Land, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios or the world-famous Disneyland. 

 During the Halloween season each of the theme parks offers a special treat for visitors.

Knott’s Berry Farm features The Knott’s Scary Farm Haunt with an array of mazes designed to scare as well as specialized scare zones throughout the park.  This attraction is not recommended for children under the age of 13 and does not allow any costumes.

Lego Land offers two different types of Halloween events: daytime and nighttime.  The daytime events feature their “Brick or Treat” trail which allows children to trick or treat, in costume at various locations throughout the park.  There are also a wonderful collection of Lego “sculptures” that are Halloween themed, ideal for photo opportunities.  Lego Land’s night time fun features a costume contest, a pumpkin building challenge and a Halloween dance.  Nighttime and daytime events at Lego Land require separate admission.

 For older teenagers and adults Six Flags Magic Mountain offers its Fright Fest attraction for 12 creepy nights in October. Fright Fest features mazes, ride hauntings, roaming zombies and creepy themed shows and has a separate admission price.  For the younger children there are special Halloween themed events in Looney Toon Land that are appropriate for all ages.

 Universal Studios in Hollywood offers Halloween Horror Nights with five new frightful mazes, assorted scare zones and a terror tram that features Peter Jackson’s new 3-D version of King Kong.

Disneyland offers Halloween Time at Disneyland with wide assortment of Halloween fun for the whole family.  The entire park is decorated with orange and black and pumpkins a la Disney are prominent throughout the park for all your fall photo needs.  The Haunted Mansion reverts to its Nightmare Before Christmas mode and the Big Thunder Ranch features expert pumpkin carvers and Halloween crafts with Woody and Jessie from Toy Story.  There is also a Mickey Halloween party, with a special admission price that allows children to trick or treat with Disney Characters and enjoy a special themed Halloween party.

 Each park offers its attractions at different times and there are often additional costs or restrictions involved.  Make sure to check the theme park’s website before planning your Halloween outing.  I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

 

Working with a Negotiation Specialist

What is expertise worth to you?  If you were facing brain surgery you would easily choose a proven board certified surgeon who had successfully performed the procedure numerous times over a first year med student.  Wouldn’t you?  You wouldn’t think of turning your taxes over to the care of your teenager with the rational that they were successfully passing 10th grade math. Of course not, because expertise is valuable.  It saves time, money, and stress.  Expertise can be a life saver.

Expertise in Real Estate is no less valuable.  For most people buying a home is the largest purchase across their life time.  Although it is a huge financial consideration it is also a tremendous emotional consideration.  People rarely buy houses, more often they buy homes.  Home is where you invest your heart, your time, your family and your future.  When buying a home you need the expertise of a Realtor who has proven excellence and knowledge of today’s ever changing market.  You need a Negotiation  Specialist.

To receive a Negotiation Specialist Designation a Realtor must comply with rigorous course work and demonstrate excellence in the area of skilled negotiation.  Would you trust anything less with the sale or purchase of your home?

Don’t settle for less than the best for the sale or purchase of your home, use a Negotiation Specialist.  I’m Carol Wolfe, I am a Negotiation Specialist and nobody does it better.

 

Wants and Needs for Home Buyers

When buying a home it’s important to have a list of  your wants and needs.  It’s always worthwhile to list your desires on a piece of paper.  There is something very freeing about being specific.  It can seem daunting at first, but it is important to remember that your list can change whenever necessary.

Over the years I have had clients come to me and tell me their wants and needs only to realize that they had changed.  I had one young couple tell me that they needed a three bedroom home with a large backyard and they wanted great room with a fireplace that overlooked the backyard.  After showing them a number of properties that fit their list but left them uninspired I discovered there was one need that had been left off their list.  They needed to be in a specific school district so their children could be close to their friends.  Armed with that knowledge I was able to help the find the home of their dreams in only one day.

It’s essential to know your wants and needs in order to successfully find the ideal home for you and your family.  Things to consider including on your list are square footage, the number of bedrooms, neighborhood, schools, proximity to work, allocation of space, cost,  necessary repairs, renovations and investments, amenities, appliances, green features, architecture and esthetic features.  Of course each person’s list of wants and needs will be unique based on their tastes, preferences and life style.

The wonderful thing about Southern California is that we have the ability to fulfill everyone’s wish list.  Whether you are looking for a Craftsman home on acreage or a French inspired Villa with virtually no commute into the city, Los Angeles and its neighboring suburbs has all your real estate solutions.

If you are shopping for quality real estate in the Los Angeles area, I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to meet all of the wants and needs on your list.  I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

Hoboken to Hollywood World Premier

If you are a Frank Sinatra fan you won’t want to miss the world premiere of   Hoboken to Hollywood: A Journey Through the Great American Songbook at the Edgemar Center for The Performing Arts in Santa Monica.  This new musical features the talented Luca Ellis and the Paul Litteral Orchestra and is directed by Jeremy Aldridge. 

Aldridge is well known among Hollywood audiences having directed the critically acclaimed musical Louis and Keeley: Live at the Sahara which premiered at the Sacred Fools Theatre. The LA Times called Louis and Keeley “One of the best musicals playing in town…see it twice!” while making it “Critics Pick”. Hoboken to Hollywood promises to deliver the same caliber of music, entertainment and brilliance.

Hoboken To Hollywood: A Journey through the Great American Songbook begins previews October 8-10th and opens on October 15th.  Tickets are available through the Edgemar Center for the Performing Arts.  This is a limited engagement and is expected to sell out quickly so get your tickets early if you are a Sinatra fan.

I’m Carol Wolfe and when it comes to Real Estate nobody does it better, not even Sinatra!

Underwood Family Farms

It’s harvest time in Southern California.  Do you ever wonder where your fresh produce comes from?  Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark is fully functioning sustainable family farm that allows visitors, for a small fee, to tour their facilities and even pick and purchase fresh produce directly out of the field.

For parents with small children this is an excellent educational outing.  For the little ones the Underwood Family Farm has animals to pet and view and all of the trappings of the best available pumpkin patches during the fall festival, at other times during the year it also offers an opportunity to ride on a hay wagon into the fields in order to identify and pick their own vegetables.  Children delight in seeing how broccoli actually grows!  There is something magical about tromping through the dirt and discovering various lettuces or pulling leaves up from the ground to discover hidden treasures such as carrots, onions, beets and radishes.  It is a great way to teach children about whole foods and where they come from.  It also makes them interested to taste them.

Underwood Family Farms is a great Fall outing to entertain and educate. Ticket prices Monday through Friday are $3 and weekend tickets during the Fall Festival (Oct. 1-30 are $12, but offer a wide variety of Halloween activities)  Children under the age of 2 are free.  Vegetable picking is not available during the month of October.

I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

The 23rd Annual Taste of Encino

Encino is a wonderful place to call home. Among its many spectacular attributes are some of the finest restaurants in the world. Each year Encino celebrates its culinary excellence by taking to the streets in a festival of flavors known as The Taste of Encino.
This year will mark the 23rd anniversary of the Festival and it promises to be one for the record books.

The 2010 festival is scheduled for October 9th and will take place at the St. Cyril School which is located at 4548 Haskell Avenue in Encino, at Haskell Avenue and Ventura Blvd.
The fun begins at 10 am and will continue until 9pm.

Area restaurants will be in attendance offering a wide variety of food along with artisans and craftspeople with treasures sure to delight. For those with young children there will also be a kid’s area complete with a moon bounce, a rock climbing wall, and a pumpkin patch ideal for picture taking. Additionally there will be home improvement and disaster preparedness exhibitions as well as a beer and wine pavilion.

Ticket prices are $5 for adults, admission is free for children under the age of 12. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund local school and community projects including the annual Teacher of the Year luncheon and the Disaster Preparedness Community Outreach. Free parking is available within walking distance to the festival. Tickets can be purchased at the event or from the Encino Chamber of Commerce.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to enjoy the best of Encino’s food and entertainment while supporting local schools and community outreach! I know I’ll be there. I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.