English Country Estate in Tarzana

By Carol Wolfe

Stunning is too mild a word to describe this remarkable Country English estate with sprawling frontage.  Situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac this estate offers elegance and privacy.  Exterior CALFrom the wide brick pathway bordered by roses and flowers that welcomes you to a front door with leaded glass and side lights, this home has it all. 

The two story foyer features hardwood floors that flow throughout the main entertaining rooms, lit by a beautiful crystal chandelier above the main staircase. The step down formal living room delights with vaulted beamed ceilings and a beautiful stone fireplace. A formal dining room features leaded and stained glass windows, crown moldings, wainscoting, a window seat, and an Italian porcelain chandelier. Pool 1 CALThe chef’s kitchen boasts a Viking 6-burner range plus griddle, Sub Zero refrigerator, granite counters, butcher block center island, a copper-faced dishwasher, and maple cabinets. Completing the main wing are a family room with brick fireplace, vaulted beamed ceilings and built-in bookcases, a sunny breakfast room with French doors that open to a lovely al fresco dining patio and maid’s quarters.

A separate wing of the home features a game/billiard room, gym, and Honduran mahogany paneled library with granite fireplace, coffered ceiling and rotunda.

Upstairs there are 4 bedrooms including a spacious master suite, replete with a brick fireplace retreat, a tiled balcony, and two walk-in closets. The spectacular master bathroom features marble counters and floors, a spa tub and bidet.

This charming estate features numerous custom upgrades including lath and plaster walls, abundant storage areas, numerous leaded, beveled, etched, and stained glass windows, a copper turret, and several window seats.

The expansive tree-studded grounds include citrus trees, verdant lawns, as well as rose gardens and lush plantings. The mosaic tiled pool and spa and vine-covered gazebo add to the atmosphere of English elegance.  To view this estate please contact my office, I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

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Privacy and Luxury in Amestoy Estates.

If you are looking for luxurious seclusion close proximity exterior-genestto shopping and events this is a home you won’t want to miss.   This divine single story estate in the exclusive Amestoy estates is both walled and gated.  This spacious home features not one, but two separate guest houses on its grounds!

The main house features high vaulted, beamed stenciled ceilings and tile floors, custom tiled fireplaces, and a chef’s kitchen with Viking and Sub-Zero appliances.

Four spacious bedrooms including a tremendous master suite as well as living room, dining room, family room, kitchen and three baths complete the open floor plan.  pool-geneMost of the rooms boast French doors that open onto the lush grounds.

The property features verdant lawns, patio, barbecue, dog run, citrus trees and a fenced pool.  For more photos visit www.genestaestate.com. To view this exciting property please contact me. I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

Elegant Lake Encino Estate

If you are looking for a distinctive home with classic elegance nestled in an exclusive Encino community, look no further.  1lakeThis Lake Encino Gated Estate boasts stunning interiors in a tropical setting.  The dramatic two story foyer features crown moldings, marble floors and a custom wrought iron staircase and chandelier.

Venetian plaster walls grace the interiors as well as custom draperies, French doors, and hand painted ceiling medallions.  The chef’s kitchen is equipped with commercial grade appliances including a Viking range and a Fisher-Paykel dishwasher. Maid’s quarters, a laundry room and a cigar humidor adjoin the spacious kitchen.

Upstairs there are five bedrooms including a master suite and a tremendous media room fully equipped with professional screening equipment including a projector and screen.  42-lakeThe master suite boasts a stone shower steam unit with multiple shower heads and body sprays as well as custom wardrobe closets, dual vanities and bidet.

The grounds surrounding the estate are immaculately groomed with custom pottery accents and flowing fountain as a focal point.  Other outdoor features include a pebble tech pool and spa, wet bar, outdoor fireplace and sports court. For more information or to view this lovely estate please contact me or visit http://www.lakeencinoestate.com.  I’m Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

Why Now is an Excellent Time to Buy Your Dream Home

Times are tough for many people.  Job losses are at their highest since the end of WWII, retailers are going out of business left and right, and the average American family is lucky if they can afford health insurance. But for those of you who are fortunate enough to remain relatively unscathed, now is one of the best times in decades to purchase a home.

time-to-buy-02-03First of all, thanks to the FED ‘s attempts at stimulating the economy, interest rates have been on a steady decline. While lenders have definitely tightened their guidelines, for those with good credit, it’s not unheard of to lock in a 30-year fixed rate in the 5 percent range. The cost of borrowing money right now is better than ever, and an excellent time to upgrade. 

Second, because there has been such a slowdown in home purchases coupled, with the unfortunate rise in foreclosures, there is an abundance of inventory. Home values have come way down in some areas and many people are relieved to be able to jut sell their home, regardless of profit. For buyers in the market right now, this means there are lots of deals to be discovered.

If you have been tossing around the idea of a new home, but are still unsure of the timing, I have been in the business for more than 30 years and have the experience to help you make your decision. My name is Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

Obtaining a Home Inspection

home-inspector-01-23We’ve all seen the Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. Remember the one where they find their dream home, only to discover that after they’ve moved in, everything that could be wrong, is. In real life, this is a rarity because of one word – INSPECTIONS.

These days, a home rarely changes hands without them, and the haunting images from that movie are easily avoided. No one wants to move into their dream home only to discover muddy water, exploding electrical systems and rotting wood. A home inspector will look beyond the surface, top and bottom, from the roof to the plumbing, to uncover anything and everything that might affect a buyer’s decision.

Real estate contracts allow for an inspection period where the buyer can opt out if any big surprises are discovered.  It is wise to have a comprehensive overall general inspection, but there are a handful of specialized inspections I usually recommend as well. Buyers should consider chimneys and sewer lines, and it is not uncommon to have separate inspections for mold, foundation, roof and asbestos, particularly if the home is older.  The general inspection, while comprehensive, cannot always find hidden problems, which is why I recommend having specialists for each area of concern. 

If you’d like to eliminate any surprises in your home buying process, my name is Carol Wolfe, and if nobody does it better.

A Brief Definition of Escrow and Why It’s Essential

According to www.merriam-webster.com, escrow is defined as: a deed, a bond, money, or a piece of property held in trust by a third party to be turned over to the grantee only upon fulfillment of a condition. In real estate transactions, there are so many parties obligated to fulfill so many responsibilities, it is easy to see why a neutral party like an escrow company is essential to a smooth process. 
 escrow-photo
In any given transaction, you have the buyer and seller, their agents, the inspectors, the appraiser, the mortgage broker, the lender, the lien holders, the IRS and and handful of other variables. It is during the escrow process that the money gets divvied up and everyone’s proceeds and fees are accounted for according to the conditions of the contract. The escrow company also ensures such things as a clear title, recording the deed, ordering warranties, filing paperwork with the proper municipalities, and receiving funds to be disbursed, just to name a few.
 
Whether it is the buying and selling of a home or the transfer of a business, the amount of legal documentation and financial liabilities can easily create confusion or differences of opinion and the worst things of all, the delay of a timely close. This is why an impartial, third-party representative becomes essential to focusing on the facts and responsibilities that must be fulfilled.

During my extensive career in real estate, I have encountered issues from all ends of the spectrum, but a good escrow company can handle them with ease, just like a good real estate agent. Together we can make your home buying experience a breeze. My name is Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.

Buying a New Home

Although discovering beautiful neighborhoods where you imagine raising your family is the most exciting part of buying a new home, it is not the most important thing you do when beginning your new home adventure. There are professionals in the mortgage and real-estate industry who are trained and highly qualified to help get you exactly what you want, for the best market price available, and it is important to consult us both before you begin.
 
It’s very important to speak with a trusted mortgage officer before you start looking for a home. Use referrals from friends, family and your real estate agent as a resource when shopping for one. Not only will they help you determine what your taste can afford, but they can also have everything prepared for when you do find the home of your dreams. How devastating to find the perfect home, only to find out that you are unable to meet the requirements for the loan, especially with REO (Real Estate Owned, or bank owned) properties because you may not get your down payment or earnest money back.
 
It is of particular importance these days, especially with the market as volatile as it’s been, that you prepare your offer with a pre-approval in your hands. These days the guidelines change frequently and what may have worked in the past, may not be the case today, so having a good mortgage officer who is current on the latest programs is integral to today’s buying experience.
 

As well, be sure to understand the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. With a pre-qualification, the loan officer will usually just take your word on information such as income and debts, pull your credit, punch some numbers into a calculator and give you estimates on your limit and payment. Whereas with a pre-approval, this means they have actually run your information through a program and have a commitment from the lender securing your ability to obtain a loan and the necessary conditions that must be met.
 
With 34 years in the real-estate industry, I feel confident that my knowledge is invaluable to providing the best home-buying and selling experience possible for my clients. I am Carol Wolfe and nobody does it better.