Phone: 310-729-6573
Email: martin@martinfeinberg.com

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Culver City Resident Joel Falter Rides for Great Cycle Challenge USA

Image is Joel Falter.Culver City Real Estate area resident Joel Falter has a goal to ride 810 miles and raise $20,000 this month in the 5thannual Great Cycle Challenge USA.  Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) sponsors the challenge.

The Great Cycle Challenge USA was founded in 2015 and is now one of the biggest cycling events in the country.  In the four years that the event has taken place 153,000 riders from 50 states have ridden 12 million miles and raised more than $16 million.  The money goes towards research and the development of new treatments and cures for childhood cancer.

CCRF hopes that more than 50,000 riders will help it raise $8.2 million in 2019.

According to John Hallberg, Executive Chief Officer at Children’s Cancer Research Fund, “Over 15,000 American children are diagnosed with cancer every year and, sadly, 38 children die every week.  Thanks to riders like Joel, we’re fueling groundbreaking research to save lives and give kids the brighter future they deserve.”

“Great Cycle Challenge USA encourages cyclists across the United States to challenge themselves and set their own personal riding goal throughout June to fight kids’ cancer. Riders fundraise to save lives and give kids the brighter future they deserve.  For more information, visit greatcyclechallenge.com.”

Joel Falter also stated, “This is the fourth time I have participated in Great Cycle Challenge.  During those years, I rode 2,180 miles and raised $53,581.19. This year, I am aiming to raise $20,000 and ride 810 miles.”

Image is the Great Cycle Challenge USA logo.For those wanting to learn more about Joel’s Great Cycle Challenge USA, or who would like to make a donation, local listing agent Martin Feinberg encourages people to visit greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/JoelFalter. To participate in Great Cycle Challenge USA, cyclists should visit GreatCycleChallenge.com.

To learn more about CCRF, visit childrenscancer.org or call 1-888-422-7348.

Blair Hills Park Playground Improvement Project Completed

Image is a picture of the Blair Hills Park playground.The Culver City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department has announced that the Blair Hills Park Playground Improvement Project has been completed and a dedication ceremony will be held next Tuesday.

“Please join us for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Blair Hills Park on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM. The PRCS Department thanks the City Council and the Culver City community for supporting this park improvement project which will bring joy to local youth and their families for years to come.”

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that the Blair Hills Park Playground Improvement Project began on March 25 of this year and was scheduled to take 45 working days to complete.  Most of the park remained open to the public during construction, with only the playground section fenced off while the renovations took place.

Blair Hills Park is located within the Culver City Real Estate area at 5950 Wrightcrest Dr.   The Blair Hill neighborhood where the park is located is nestled between Ballona Creek and the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.  It includes Culver City Park as well as the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.

For more information, Martin Feinberg, Realtor, suggests emailing Patrick Reynolds, Parks Manager/City Landscape Architect at patrick.reynolds@culvercity.org.   Citizens can also reach Mr. Reynolds by phone at (310) 253-6471.

Image is a flyer for the Blair Hills Park Playground Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

LA’s Safest Driver Contest Offering over $70,000 to Safe Drivers in July

Image is a man and a woman driving a convertible.Local listing agent Martin Feinberg was surprised to hear that the City of Los Angeles is partnering with United Services Automobile Association and Cambridge Mobile Telematics to offer $20,000 to the safest driver who lives or regularly drives in Los Angeles.  The contest, which began on Monday June 3 and will run through July 26, is known as LA’s Safest Driver Contest.

LA’s Safest Driver Contest is open to anyone 18 years and older who has a valid driver’s license and regularly drives through the L.A. area.  This includes any who live or work in the Culver City Real Estate area. Prizes for contest winners will total over $70,000 and will be awarded for safe driving behaviors.

Besides the safest driver award, commercial drivers, the least distracted driver, veterans, and young drivers can also win anywhere from $7,500 to $10,000 for their safe driving skills.

Mayor Eric Garcetti stated, “If we are going to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious accidents on our streets, we need to put an end to the epidemic of distracted driving.  Safe driving is a reward unto itself, but some friendly competition is a great way to drive home the importance of keeping our minds and eyes on the road.”

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, encourages all those who are interested in entering the contest to download the contest app at www.LASafestDriver.com.  The app will automatically activate based on phone movement and will deactivate when the phone is turned off.   It is made to track five key measurements: speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and distraction.  The app will score each trip individually for a combined score of 100 possible points.

Image is a city street with cars driving on it.LA’s Safest Driver Contest categories include:

  • Safest Overall Driver: $20,000
  • Safest Military/Veteran Driver: $10,000
  • Least Distracted Driver: $7,500
  • Safest Youth Driver: $7,500
  • Safest Commercial Driver: $10,000

Property Managers know how to help Tenants Prevent Property Damage

Image is a cartoon of a woman trying to hold back a flood with a door.One reason that so many rental property owners choose to utilize a professional property manager is because managers typically have a lot of experience dealing with tenants.  This not only helps with choosing the right tenant to live in a property, but also helps to ensure that the tenant will treat the property well.  Because ignorant and negligent tenants usually cause the most property damage, a good property manager like Martin Feinberg knows how to work with tenants to lessen the likelihood of damage happening.

While most tenants won’t punch a hole in the wall, they are likely to fail to let a property manager know that there is a minor leak under the kitchen sink.  It’s this kind of negligence that most property managers need to worry about, but with a small time or monetary investment it can be done.

Good tenant screening is always the property manager’s first line of defense in limiting property damage.  Managers need to ensure that they only rent to responsible tenants. And a good screening process can help achieve that goal.

After utilizing a good screening process, the next thing that property managers can do to help limit property damage is to charge a reasonably high-security deposit.  A security deposit doesn’t exist only to reimburse the owner for damages.  It can also remind tenants to take good care of the property.

However, even a responsible tenant that is invested in caring for the property can sometimes fail to maintain it properly.   Usually this is caused by tenant ignorance. Some renters might not understand what prevention measures need to be taken to keep repairs at bay.  This ignorance can be overcome when property managers provide tenants with a simple maintenance checklist.  This will help keep certain responsibilities on a tenant’s radar.

Sometimes the best way for an experienced property manager to help protect against property damage is to automate common recurring tasks.  One such task is the changing of HVAC filters.  Automatic air filter deliveries will help ensure that such an easy task always gets done, thus protecting HVAC systems from unnecessary repairs.

Smart moisture sensors can also be another great way to protect against potential property damage without having to relying solely on the tenant.   Smart moisture sensors can be placed in areas of low traffic that have a high likelihood of water damage—such as under the sink—and will detect moisture buildup, helping to alert someone that there is a leak.   Moisture sensors are surprisingly affordable and can prevent a lot of costly damage.

Yearly professional cleaning is another way to alert property managers to potential infestations or other damage.   Though there is a cost involved, annual cleanings can protect against a lot of possible damage, or at the very least alert a manager to damage that has already occurred and needs to be fixed.   Preparing for a light professional cleaning can also encourage tenants to bring their space up to standards at least once a year.  Property managers that do not want to pay the cost should consider asking interested tenants if they would like to split the fees.

Just like yearly cleanings, regular inspections are very important when trying to protect a property from preventable damage.  Though tenant education is important, there is no substitute for regular physical visits and inspections.   Experience property managers know that they cannot just take their tenant’s word for it. They need to verify for themselves that everything is in working order.

Image is a cartoon bucket, mop, and dust buster.Along with regular check-ins, utilizing an online tenant portal or easy maintenance reporting system can help encouraging tenants to report problems quickly.   Most tenants mean well, but they can be good at putting off phone calls or emails.  An automated reporting system can help.

Lastly, but likely most importantly, the number one key to stopping property damage is for property managers to maintain a good relationship with their tenants. Tenants should be aware of their landlord’s expectations from the beginning and should always feel that their property manager is an ally and not an enemy.  When tenants understand that a property manager wants them to get their security deposit back, and will work with them to help them be able to do so, they are more likely to care about the state of their home.

Culver City Garden Club Show and Sale Happening June 8 and 9

Image is a basket of garden produce.The Culver City Garden Club Show and Sale will be taking place next Saturday and Sunday on June 8 and 9.  Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that this is the 66th annual Garden Club Show and Sale to be held in the Culver City Real Estate area.

The show will be open on Saturday June 8 from 11-4 and on Sunday June 9 from 10-4. It will take place in the Teen Center at 4153 Overland Ave and Culver Blvd. There is no cost to attend the event.

The Garden Club Show and Sale will include a judged exhibition of locally homegrown plants, flowers, and edibles. There will also be two workshops held each day.  These will include workshops on Beekeeping, creating a fairy garden, and tomato growing tips. There will be free starter plants for children.

Two raffles will be held each day as well.

The Garden Club Show and Sale will have local experts present at the venue to answer gardening questions and help with gardening problems.

Image is a close up of some Gerber Daisies.Finally, the show will include a store section where the Club and other vendors will have plants and gardening items available for purchase.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, encourages those interested to call (310) 203-1482 or email http://www.culvercitygardenclub.orgfor more information. Interested parties can also check out the Garden Club Facebook page.

Ballona Creek Renaissance Asking for Volunteers for Weekend Cleanup

Image is a picture of the Ballona Creek in Los Angeles county.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, has learned that the Ballona Creek Renaissance team is searching for volunteers to help clean up part of the Ballona Creek area.  The clean up, which will focus on the area where the inland water and incoming tide meet, will take place on Saturday June 8 from 9 a.m. to noon.  Volunteers of all ages are welcome.  Those interested should meet at the corner of Centinela Avenue and Milton Street, within the Culver City Real Estate area.

According to the Ballona Creek website, “Ballona Creek is a nine-mile-long flood control channel. It drains the Ballona Creek watershed, which covers approximately 130 square miles: from the Santa Monica mountains on the north to the Baldwin Hills on the south, and from the Harbor Freeway (110) on the east to eastern edge of Santa Monica. During dry weather the creek flows with urban runoff; the water level and speed increase dramatically during storms. That runoff contains all sorts of pollutants from our air, yards, businesses, schools, and streets – trash, animal waste, oil and grease, pesticides and fertilizers, industrial chemicals. One often finds large items, such as shopping carts, which have been dumped in the creek. Algae accumulate in some places and graffiti in others.  About four miles of the creek lie within the City of Culver City. The rest of it is in the City of Los Angeles and, near the coast, the County of Los Angeles.”

While Ballona Creek is a place of water, fish, birds, and plants, it is also a source of ocean-bound trash and plastic. The Clean up is an opportunity to remove some of that pollution before it reaches open water.  It’s also a great way for students to earn community service credits.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that the Ballona Creek Renaissance team recommends that volunteers wear sunscreen, hats, and close-toed shoes (water-resistant would be best).  Volunteers should also bring their own water in a reusable container and gloves. Water and gloves also will be available at the event however for those that don’t bring them, along with bags, grabbers, buckets, rakes, and educational displays.

Volunteers under 18 must have a waiver form signed by their parent or guardian. These are available either on-site or on website, http://ballonacreek.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cleanupwaiversfor-minors2015.pdf

Adult volunteers will be asked to sign waivers at the event.

Image is the Ballona Creek Renaissance logo.

Utilizing Smart Thermostats as a Property Manager

Image is the word Smart Home with symbols of smart technology in bubbles under it.Smart home technology has become increasingly popular for homeowners. Such technologies, especially smart thermostats, help homeowners automate homes while adding convenience and even financial savings.  However, what is popular and helpful for a property owner is not always useful to a property manager such as Martin Feinberg.  Smart thermostats are one such device that can either be a good investment for professional property managers or a poor one, depending on other factors.

Smart thermostats are popular because they help save energy.  They can help save on heating costs because they allow users—landlords or tenants—to control the temperature in a unit based on different parameters such as usage, weather patterns, and/or time of day.   Smart thermostats are designed to make temperature adjustments based on the user’s behaviors and patterns.   For example, smart thermostats can “learn” when a tenant is present and therefore will heat or cool an empty unit less than an occupied unit.

Smart thermostats also allow users, such as property managers, to monitor the temperature of a property remotely.   This means that property owners or managers can control the energy output of their properties without needing to be in the unit.

Pros of Installing A Smart Thermostat:

  1. Premium amenities can attract and retain tenants, which is helpful in competitive markets that have lots of options for perspective renters.
  2. Installing a smart thermostat can sometimes allow a property manager to charge more a month in rent, as some renters are willing to pay more for smart home technology.
  3. In units where the rental property owner pays the utilities, smart thermostats can help them save money.

Cons of Installing a Smart Thermostat:

  1. Smart thermostats typically cost between $100-$250, depending on the brand and where they are purchased. If a property manager plans on Image is an illustration of a gold bag of money.installing such technology in a lot of units, the cost can add up.  Some states offer rebate plans though for energy-saving devices so it can be worth it to look for such opportunities.
  2. If the tenant pays for the cost of utilities, they will also be the ones saving money using a smart thermostat.Even though the property owner will not see those savings personally however, saving money on utilities can help good tenants choose to stay in a unit longer, thus providing a financial benefit to the owner in the long run.
  3. If other renovations are needed in a unit, spending money on a smart thermostat might not be the best use of funds.Though many renters appreciate smart technology, a new washer/dryer or central air conditioning will usually be a better investment.

In the end, property managers need to consider their rental, budget, and market when deciding whether a smart thermostat is a good investment or not. An experienced property manager will be able to help determine if installing such technology will help make a unit competitive with other rentals in the area and be worth the time, effort, and money needed for the upgrade.

Dr. Pamela Wiley Honored by Red Cross for work with Autism Community

Image is a circle with puzzle pieces inside with a banner that says Autism Awareness.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, was pleased to learn that Culver City doctor Pamela Wiley was honored this month by the American Red Cross during a special ceremony in Carson.   Dr. Wiley was honored for her years of work with the autism community.

Dr. Pamela Wiley received the Education Hero Award during the 15th annual Hometown Heroes Luncheon.  Other Los Angeles area volunteers, first responders, and professionals were also honored during the ceremony.

Dr. Wiley is a speech-language pathologist.  She founded the Los Angeles Speech and Language Therapy Center, which was established in 1979.  The clinic, along with a nonprofit, serves children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as their families. The center operates programs in Culver City, Sherman Oaks, Lawndale, Maywood, and other locations and offers speech therapy, preschool, early intervention, social skills, summer camps, drama, and employment readiness training.

The clinic is located within the Culver City Real Estate area at 5761 Buckingham Parkway.

Dr. Pamela Wiley has written many professional papers and workbooks connected to autism as well.

Dr. Wiley stated, “Receiving this award is very humbling.  It’s quite an honor, really. And it’s a testament to our kids and our program.”

The Speech and Language Therapy Center also includes a Vocational Training Program.  This program, which Dr. Wiley stated makes her proud, prepares young people to enter the workforce and helps them achieve independence.  Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that the center partners with the UPS Store to provide training and mentoring for youth in the program.

Dr. Pamela Wiley was very grateful to her staff for their hard work and support over the years.

“Our kids make us proud every day,” Wiley said. “It’s just an honor to be a part of the organization.  And our staff deserves praise as well.  They are just some of the best people around.”

Image is a baby boy sitting a field of grass smiling.

Culver City Police Citizen’s Police Academy now Accepting Applications

Image is a close up of a police car driving on a city street.Local listing agent Martin Feinberg, Realtor, has learned that the Culver City Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy is now accepting applications to the program.

According to the Culver City Police Department, “the Culver City Citizen’s Police Academy is designed to educate residents and local citizens on the various aspects of law enforcement. It is for those interested in learning more about how the Culver City Police Department functions and operates. There are many misconceptions about police duties and the Academy will help dispel these notions and allow community members a closer look at their police department.”

The program is meant to increase communication and encourage interaction between local police officers and the community.  It is not intended to train participants to be police officers.   Graduates of the Academy will gain a good understanding of public safety information and will then hopefully be able to share that understanding with others within the Culver City Real Estate area.

The program is also designed to help citizens gain a better understanding of the different challenges and choices a Culver City Police Officer has to deal with every day.

The Culver City Citizen’s Academy lasts for ten weeks and is set to begin on Wednesday June 26th. The academy includes the opportunity to attend a patrol ride-along, as well as course curriculum on  the Criminal Justice System, Development of a Police Officer, Tactical Options, Traffic Enforcement, Special Responses, Forensics, Investigations, and Community Preparedness.

Those who are selected to attend this year’s Citizen’s Academy will receive a notification by mail and/or phone at least two weeks before classes begin. The selection process includes a limited background check because of security concerns and the sensitive nature of some of the material.

Image is a close up of a line of police officers standing outside.All applications will be retained and considered for future classes so those who are not selected this year will be offered the chance again the next time the academy is held.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, encourages all who are interested to download an application online, print and complete it, and then either mail or drop off the completed applications to the Culver City Police Department.  Applications should be marked “attention Officer Marissa Yabko” and must be turned in by June 12, 2019 to be considered.

Email marissa.yabko@culvercity.org for questions.

Property Managers use Disaster Preparation to Protect Owner Investments

Image is a rain gutter on a home overflowing.Rental property ownership can be a great way to earn extra income.  However, for the inexperienced it can also easily lead to financial hardships, especially if the investment owner did not take care to prepare for emergency situations with a good disaster preparation plan.  For this reason many rental property owners choose to use a professional property manager such as Martin Feinberg.

Disaster preparation does not need to take up a lot of time, effort, or energy, but it can’t be ignored either.  Experienced property managers will take the time to know which disasters are most likely to be a threat to the properties that they manage and will plan accordingly. For many properties, this will be the threat of flooding.

Reliable property managers will endeavor to reduce the flood risk of their properties while also mitigating floodwater damage should it occur.   This starts by being aware of weather patterns and local rainy seasons so that precautions can be taken before a problem develops.

Some other tricks for keeping flood damage to a minimum include:

  • Maintaining clean and repaired rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Adding additional drainage when needed. These devices will likely include such things as french drains and downspout extensions.  This will help funnel floodwaters away from the property before they can get inside.
  • Informing tenants that when a flood is inevitable, the gas and electricity in the property need to be disabled to reduce the chance of fires and injury.
  • Fixing any leaks immediately and sealing cracks in the foundation to help reduce the chances of basement flooding.
  • Installing a sump pump in low areas of driveways, carports or landscaping for added protection.

Image is heavy summer rains as seen through the windshield of a car.Disaster preparation can seem overwhelming but professional property managers will use the knowledge that they have from years of experience to mitigate risks before they occur.  This can help protect the investments and bottom line of the property owners they represent.