Last weekend, my friend Josh and I gathered several locals from the South Bay with one goal in mind- PAY IT FORWARD. With the support of so many, we were able to feed 530 people and also aid them with clothing, blankets and pillows. We took four cars filled with residents of the South Bay, sandwiches- each containing a positive note.
As this cold weather is approaching, it is so comforting to know so many benefited from our donations. Thank you for everyone who contributed.
May this good deed transition for each and everyone of you.
Spring is often cited as the time to sell a home, but many prospective home buyers are willing to work through the heat and make a move in the summer and even fall. The following tips will help homeowners make a quick sale and get the best price.
1. Make a strong first impression
To ensure potential buyers get a good first impression, consider small touches such as a new mailbox or front mat, or maybe go for a more expensive upgrade with a new front door. Front entrances should be kept and, if needed, pressure-washed to remove grime. You would be surprised how much it makes a difference. Depending on the neighborhood, a moved lawn, trimmed bushes, or a well-kept rock garden can go a long way. Topping off potted plants or a garden with fresh mulch or soil is another good and inexpensive idea.
2. Fix It
Homebuyers do not want to have to deal with a misaligned closet door, leaky sink, or cracked window when they are trying to move and get settled in their new home. Fix everything before listing a home, as often the extra work may push the home down buyers' lists. It could also leave them worried that they will need to make more serious repairs once they move in.
3. Create an inviting outdoor space
A beautiful yard might make all the difference. Buying a table with an umbrella and adding or sprucing up potted flowers can help buyers see themselves entertaining and enjoying the outdoor space. Think of going on a vacation and the emotions you feel when relaxing and sipping a cool refreshing drink. That is the emotion you want your out living area to evoke.
4. Deep clean EVERYTHING.
Several real estate professionals emphasized the importance of cleaning every nook and cranny of the home, down to shampooing the carpets, before showing it to prospective buyers. Sellers can hire professionals or prepare for a weekend spent cleaning, but it needs to get done.
5. Consider Staging
Homeowners may have a style that fits their needs and tastes, but buyers may see things quite differently. Many buyers cannot see past furnishings, particularly when they are outdated, and staging can help illuminate a home's potential.
6. Stay Organized
A walk-in closet could be a selling point, but it is hard for buyers to get a good feel for a cluttered space. Crammed closets and cabinets make spaces look smaller than they really are, which can be a huge deterrent to potential buyers. In addition to clearing out clutter, it is recommended that you add organizational systems, should space and budget permit. Purging unneeded items also helps make the move to a new home easier. Alternatively, store belongings in a storage unit until the sale is completed.
7. Let the light in
Natural light can lift moods and make rooms dazzle. Consider maximizing that light by hanging mirrors as well- the space will feel larger and brighter, and buyers will be less likely to resent being inside rather than at the beach.
29th Annual Family Halloween Carnival
Join the Fun with After School REC and the Teen Center!
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location:Manhattan Heights Park
1600 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, California 90266
The Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Department's annual Family Halloween Carnival is held every October at Manhattan Heights Community Center located at 1600 Manhattan Beach Boulevard. The event is designed for children ages 2 to 13. Children under the age of 5 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Past carnivals have included face painting, haunted house, food and game booths, and much, much more! All game booths are constructed by children in the After School REC Program and the haunted house is constructed and staffed by Teen Center staff and their teens. Download a copy of the Halloween Carnival flyer (PDF). Events, attractions, and costs are subject to change without notice.
Costume Contest and Parade 12:00 PM
5 and under
6 to 7
8 to 9
10 to 12
Parent and Child
Carnival Booths $0.50 to $2.00
The carnival booth are games are made by the participants of the After School REC and Teen Center. Booths will be closed during the costume parade. Tickets are required.
Haunted House $1.00
Haunted house is $1 sponsored by the Teen Center. Haunted house will be closed during the costume parade. Tickets are required.
3,000 Push Up Challenge Free
One of the mission statements of the Parks and Recreation Department is to "Promote Health and Wellness." To help instill that in our participants and promote that philosophy, we would like you to take the challenge and help us reach a NEW push up goal on the day of the carnival!
Inflatable Jumpers $0.50
Tickets are required.
Food Stand $1.00 to $2.00
Pizza (pepperoni/cheese), water, juice, chips, granola bars, cotton candy, and popcorn. Tickets are required.
Face Painting Price TBA
Tickets will be sold at the Information Booth. Each ticket costs $0.50. Bills over $20.00 will not be accepted.
For more information or to volunteer for this event, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (310) 802-5448.
Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.
Today’s MCM belongs to Peter Aziz who is committed to bringing awareness to others around him of foreign exchanges in hopes of bringing light, truth and knowledge of politics.
Aziz, 26, grew up in Redondo Beach and was raised in the South Bay. He went to all the local schools including Birney Elementary school, Adams Middle School, and Redondo Union High School. After high school, he went to El Camino College before transferring to UC Riverside.
He says he transferred to the university after having many options for school, initially majoring in sociology, hoping to change the world by understanding society. Instead, he says studying sociology made him look at the world more negatively which led him to take an unexpected academic leave.
After taking some time off, he came back to finish his bachelor’s degree and decided to pursue public policy. “I went back to work full time, working with underprivileged kids to inspire them to be role models with good values and set goals for themselves,” he says.
His official title is Program Coordinator for the extracurricular school activities for underprivileged kids. “I manage a team of 7 at each site, and run games activities crafts and tutoring,” he says.
He finds the most challenging part of his job is not having enough energy to keep up with the kids and says the best part of his job is everything. “It’s rewarding to know that after deciding to leave after 7 years, I am leaving a legacy behind with not just the impact on the kids that I have met, and that they remember me as they go into high school. The most rewarding thing about my job is knowing that I have set an example of hard work ethic dedication and passion in these kids to see them become inspirational beings,” he says.
Aziz feels that he is paying it forward each day when he goes into work. He says, “I choose passion and inspiration as my catalyst or vehicle for giving back to young minds, interacting with each every single kid in the programs across the school district they remember the love and kindness I have shown them.”
Aziz feels it is important for children to attend after school programs because, "It instills values they may not be able to see being set in a home environment, they learn how to interact with kids of all ages and backgrounds. They learn how to give back to their communities through programs like this by being better people."
In five years, he hopes to be in a place where he can advocate for policies in congress that continue to help create a better society whether that is for education or healthcare. His passion for politics come from a desire for justice and advocacy for voices that are unrepresented. He feels politics are important because it is a matter of being consciously aware of the repercussions of decision made at local levels from how our tax dollars are used, and the decisions that our elected officials choose to make based on their political agendas.
He says, “It is important that we be aware of things that affect us and future generations along the way that continue to negatively impact the world, and learn new ways of how we can change that.” He voices his opinion mainly by posting on social media sites what he thinks are relevant issues either to his immediate community or the vast majority of readers. He is currently in the process of starting his own blog. He hopes to create a blog that is informative of politics issues and he wants to tie that with his other passion, COFFEE!!!!
Aziz lives with one motto and that is gratitude. He says without it, life doesn't exist. The word gratitude has dimensions of joy, appreciation, and humility and nonetheless, is a process to get to this State of mind.
Stay tuned as Aziz debuts his blog, Coffee & Politics, and look out for him on the political campaign trail hopefully in the near future. As he says, “It’s a team effort. You cannot become someone with a team behind you to support inspire encourage and uplift you.”
Thank you, Aziz, for inspiring the young children of our future and by informing the kids of our future of informational news.
Guys, as predicted, Inglewood is coming up! The new casino opened yesterday and will have its grand opening this November. In addition, The Forum has been rated #4 in the WORLD for venues, Inglewood was voted Los Angeles's, "Neighborhood of the year" in 2014 and crime has been the lowest for five consecutive years.
Property values have increased 85.6% since 2012 and in January of 2016, the Los Angeles Rams announced their return to Los Angeles and residency in Inglewood! They are working on a $20 million dollar senior citizen building that will open next November and did I mention that it's home to Randy's Donuts?
It's not a bad time to buy in Inglewood right now.
Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.
Today’s MCM title belongs to Zouhair Shehab who despite spending nearly half of his academic life in a different country and culture, works extremely hard in providing the community with improved lighting and safety.
Zouhair Shehab , 34, was born in Daytona Beach, FL. He later moved to CA as a child but his parents decided it would be best to move to Lebanon so he and his siblings could learn the Arabic language and become familiar with their Lebanese traditions.
He continued most of his high school years in Lebanon and completed his last year in 1999 in Los Angeles. After growing up in two different cultures, he spent some time adjusting and balancing both the Arab and American lifestyles. “It was definitely a great life time experience I always share with my friends and will share with many in the future,” he says.
After his senior year in high school, he wasn’t sure what field he wanted to follow. He says, “I had the love for food and after my dad's pizza shop and eating pizza three times a day, I really wanted to become a Chef.” He asked many for advice and was not impressed with the time, effort, and long working hours one had to put in to make a living being a chef. In result, he began to seek alternative careers and continued to cook as a hobby.
He felt he was poor academically in Math and Science but always had a drive in competing against himself. “I motivate myself for new challenges and find ways to become better so I looked into engineering,” he says. Zouhair found that the beauty of engineering is that always has issues and obstacles to overcome and different ways to overcome them.
Although academically poor in Fundamentals of Science and always struggling to pass, he had the drive and knew if had the right mindset and focus, he could overcome the struggles and become successful. He then broke down all the engineering majors and felt electrical engineering was the most fitting of all majors. He went to El Camino College and later transferred to Cal State Long Beach and graduated in 2006. He began working professionally with the City of Los Angeles in 2007 shortly after he graduated.
Graduating was a great accomplishment for Zouhair, especially for all the extra effort and dedication graduating as an electrical engineer. “It was a great milestone in my life to be proud of academically,” he says.
Today, Zouhair is currently working as a Street Lighting Engineer for City of L.A. The position itself is a very unique Job Classification. He is in charge of improving lighting for the general public and for public Safety throughout the City of L.A.
A typical day consists of evaluating tunnels, roadways, and sidewalks and seeing what type of street lights are needed so the public can feel safe at night. After, he will do illumination calculations on the roadway and evaluate where to locate his lights and then draft a plan doing engineering work on how to power the lights. Finally, the plans are signed sign and approved. A Contractor is then awarded the bid and begins construction. He makes sure the project is built per his specifications and design.
Zouhair says the exciting part of his job is making a change and being a part of the change to the environment. “Seeing the community happy and satisfied with the changes, you will be amazed in what improved lighting can do at night., especially on the road and sidewalks,” he says.
The most challenging and most difficult part of his job is tunnel lighting. “I got fortunate enough to be given the hardest task to tackle and it was a very difficult project,” he says. Tunnel Lighting is a special application that has to be designed very well. The Lighting in Tunnels transitions from very high illumination to lower Illumination at Exit during the day so the drivers’ eyes have to adapt and he has to make sure that the lighting is adequate enough and safe for the public to drive thru any time of the day.
He remembers the most difficult project he designed and coordinated was construction for the LAX Tunnel. “Over 100 thousand Cars travel thru this Tunnel daily, so the Retrofitted LED Lighting design and construction was one of the hardest and most challenging tasks to overcome,” he says. He is most proud of this accomplishment when it was completed.
When Zouhair is not busy working, he enjoys spending his weekends with family, cooking and barbequing. He enjoys trying new marinades on his meats including chicken and ribs. When together, they enjoy eating, trying new restaurants, watching/playing sports such as basketball and more. He says his life motto is to simply, “Eat good, do good and be patient with your life...good things happen.”
He pays it forward by giving advice and helping others as much as he can. “I feel with advice and support, it is my duty to spread good and help others succeed in life. .I have to be a good role model for my family and friends and help others reach their goals,” he says.
Thank you, Zouhair, for being the guiding force in providing light and safety to our roads and making it a priority to help others succeed. The South bay is fortunate to have you as a member of our society.
After showing homes to clients that I know they love, I often hear, “Can I sleep on it?”
With homes selling faster than ever, here are 5 reasons why “sleeping” on it is a bad idea.
A lot of times people want to see what else is out there.
I’ve seen many people come very close to what they like, but insist on looking a little more. In the time that they decide to look elsewhere, the home has received multiple offers and they’ve lost on a chance of purchasing their dream home.
No home is going to be exactly what you want.
I personally believe that location is one of the most important factors in choosing a home. If a home is located in an area you absolutely love, don’t hesitate because of cabinets or carpet flooring. These things are minor fixes that shouldn’t stop you from writing an offer on a dream home.
An offer is not permanent.
When submitting an offer, a lot of people feel they are locked in- this is not true. Typically, a home will receive multiple offers if priced correctly which will then need to be reconsidered and sometimes countered. The goal of submitting an offer is to get in the game so you’ve got a chance to win. With the right contingencies in place, you’ve got nothing to lose and possibly, a great home to gain!
Your rent is never going to get cheaper.
A lot of people are paying rent that is equal to what their mortgage could be. Even scarier is that they’re paying towards something that they do not own- meaning that they’re investing in something that does not invest in them. By purchasing a home, you are getting more than a place to build a life…you are getting an investment and leaving your family an asset.
You don’t have the luxury of waiting another day.
Time is money and you deserve to put your hard worked money somewhere that will pay you back. By purchasing a home today, you are steps closer to building equity for your future. The time is now.
If you’ve had thoughts of purchasing but not sure how, contact me today and I’ll show you the way.
Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.
Today’s MCM title belongs to Marty Steging who teaches us that money isn’t the driving force to a happy life, rather following our passion is.
Marty grew up in Torrance, CA and graduated from North High school. Marty decided to pursue a career as a big rig cross country driver after realizing the pay would be consistent. He spent many hours working towards his goals until he realized it wasn’t for him.
Marty says he rode across the country from west coast to east coast and is grateful to have been able to see so many states along the way. In just nine weeks, he’d seen 30 states and drove every day for 10-12 hours. He quickly realized how much he disliked this lifestyle.
He says, “I absolutely hated it. There where nights in the truck where tears would just rundown my face cause I was forcing myself to do something I had no passion for.” Although Marty pursued this career path, he knew it wasn’t for him. He says he lived in the truck 24/7- even to eat and sleep.
The only time they were allowed to stop was when they’d pull over to use the restroom or take their mandatory 30 min. break in an eight-hour period. “Other than that, it was pedal down and try to make the shipment on time,” he says.
One day, he woke up from sleeping in the truck while his partner was driving and they were heading back to California that he knew it would be his last time in the truck. “I was done with it. All of it, Driving, sleeping in a rolling truck, eating crappie truck stop food, showering if lucky every other day,” he says.
He realized not only how rough of a life on the road was, but it was a lifestyle that was against who he is. So, rather than staying stuck- he took a leap of faith and quit trucking knowing that he had no idea what he was going to do for work.
However, prior to beginning his trucking career, he filled an application with ATM SOCAL. The company installs and programs ATM cash machines. Just three days after he quit trucking, ATM SOCAL called him and asked if he would come in for an interview.
“Of course I said yes and killed the interview. I have been working for them since mid-June,” he says. They immediately sent Marty to Florida for training and he has even helped train new recruits! He is currently located in South Carolina, replacing and up grading Gas station ATMS. “I’m truly blessed and God's timing is amazing,” he says,
Marty says, “I initially chose trucking cause I knew they make pretty decent money, especially if you pay your dues for about a year or two it opens up a lot of opportunities to make good money.” He was chasing the money aspect of it which quickly diminished after realizing the intense lifestyle of a truck driver.
He was only in trucking for about 3 months and knew it wasn't for him. Although he liked driving and seeing different states, he says what was challenging for him was the lifestyle. “Being in the truck 24/7 with no interaction with people except when we stopped for gas was tough. I am a very social person so to put me in a rolling box 24/7, felt like prison to me,” he says.
After the experience, he says he has high respect to the guys that do it for a living. Marty has learned a lot from his experience and says that for someone who hates their job, he’d tell them to leave it. “Don't do a job for the money, you'll miss out on a lot of life. Find a balance between work and life and make sure you're happy doing it, not chasing the dollar,” he says.
Marty likes to pay it forward to the homeless he comes across, typically standing at the freeway entrance or exit. “I flip him a couple bucks, give him my extra water bottle, Gatorade, maybe my leftovers from the restaurant I just at,” he says. Also, his dad is a Veteran of 18 years in the Army, so any time he sees a person in uniform, he thanks them. He recently paid for drinks for 4 Air Force guys while at a restaurant to thank them for their service.
Thank you, Marty, for reminding us that no amount of money is worth us living a life we do not enjoy. Keep up the great work and continue inspiring others to follow their passions!
“It's been a rough journey for me but I always knew it would get better someday and had faith it would. Now I'm part of a great company that truly takes care of me, they honor that I'm trust worthy, reliable, honest, hardworking.”
– Marty Steging
Guest Blogger: Yann Fard