Treasury Bond Yields – It was a wild week for treasuries. On Wednesday, a Chinese banking official made a comment that they were going to cut back on buying U.S. debt and rates rose. Later that afternoon, an unofficial source said that the bankers comments were not the policy of the central bank. By Friday, a Chinese official made an official statement that The Chinese Central bank was not going to cut back on U.S. debt and bonds settled, but ended the week higher than the previous week. The 10-year treasury bond closed the week at 2.55%, up from 2.47% last week. The 30-year treasury yield ended the week at 2.85%, up from 2.81% last week. We watch bond rates because mortgage rates follow bond rates. We expect mortgage rates to be slightly higher next week.

Mortgage Rates – The January 11, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.99%, about the same as last week’s 3.95%. The 15-year fixed was 3.44%, up from 3.38% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.46%, also almost unchanged from 3.45% last week.

Stricter rent control bill defeated – A bill in the California Assembly, that would have eliminated restrictions on local cities, was defeated this week. Real estate groups were against the bill that would have eliminated the current California law, which limits how restrictive rent control ordinances could be. They argued that landlords would not be encouraged to keep apartment buildings, many have been torn down and converted to condominiums, if this bill passed. They also argued that there will be less incentive to build rental housing, which already has a shortage.

BUYING IN A TOUGH MARKET

Buying your dream home for a reasonable price can be a bit of a tightrope walk. If you bid too low, you risk losing the property to rival bidders. If you bid too high, you eat up more and more of your budget. Here are a few tips on how to buy the home you want, for a price close to what you’d like to pay.

  1. Be prepared to decide. It is essential that you are prepared. Know what you want, as well as what you need, from a prospective property. That way, you are ready with a timely offer as soon as you locate the property that is right for you.
  2. Stay on top. Keep abreast of developments in the local real estate market. Your chosen real estate agent or buyer’s representative can work with you to ensure you are on top, whenever a new listing hits the market. If a new property becomes available, do whatever you can (within reason) to be available for viewings.
  3. Prequalify your mortgage. Sellers will tend to be more comfortable negotiating with an individual who can prove their dedication, in both intent and ability, to purchasing their home.
  4. Contingencies. Try to secure a mortgage contingency for yourself. Aside from that, try and limit contingencies to those that are strictly necessary, for your financial situation or peace of mind. Any hurdle or restriction to a sale (delaying closing to a specific date, selling your current home prior to moving, etc) can turn an otherwise excellent offer into a debatable one.
  5. Offers. Before making an offer, make sure you (or you and your agent) have compiled all relevant data for the property. When you’re ready to make the offer, be sensible as well as aggressive. Too aggressive (and too low) and you may offend the seller or lose out to another interested buyer. You don’t have to bid your ceiling immediately. Be intelligent.
  6. Beware buyer’s frenzy. Don’t get caught up in the competition of bidding. It’s not that sort of contest, and the highest bidder doesn’t necessarily “win.” Not if winning costs you more than you’re willing to spend.
  7. Don’t skimp on inspections. Home inspections may cost you part of your budget, but they’ll save you money in the long run. You want to ensure that your potential investment is a sound one.

Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do, some awesome and some not so awesome.

Since time is precious in this fast paced city we curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles for every weekend that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).

This weekend in L.A. (December 8-10) includes Snow Wonder, The Extreme Beer Fest L.A., the Echo Park Craft Fair, Merry Merry Malibu, the Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade, a Griffith Park Festival of Lights Hike, Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Show and MUCH more.

NOTE: With the numerous wildfires and extreme wind conditions around SoCal today, our top priority is that you stay safe. Remember that you can sign up for emergency notifications from the City of Los Angeles – Emergency Management Department in order to stay updated on any important messages relevant to your location.

Friday December 8th, 2017

1. California Market Center is hosting Fashion with a Cause, charity sample sale this Friday featuring 20 plus vendors and sips and bites from local L.A. vendor pop-ups. The event will benefit the Vanderpump Dog Foundation.

2. Refinery29 presents 29Rooms, a festival in Downtown L.A. focused on style, culture, and technology. The fest runs back-to-back weekends (December 7 – 10 & December 14 – 17) at ROW DTLA.

3. It’s hard not to make fun of the holidays, laugh about the “most wonderful time of the year” when the Groundlings troupe returns with their beloved Groundlings Holiday ShowDISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

4. Score amazing designer brands available for as much as 80% off at Gilt Sample Sale on December 8- 9. Taking place at Siren Studios, shopper will enjoy cocktails, snacks, on demand alterations and styling services. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

5. The USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena is reopening to the public this Friday. To celebrate the museum will offer free admission from December 8-17. Among the exhibitions on view will be Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century, which showcases the connection between the creative communities of Mexico and China in the last century, and is presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. FREE

6. See the merriest Christmas light show in the city at City Blessing Church in Walnut during Lights on Miracle Hill: 12 Days of Christmas every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from December 1-24.

7. Take a Downtown Los Angeles foodie walking tour and savor what the bustling neighborhood has to offer. The tour is three hours long, participants will stop at six popular spots to eat and the tour guide will take folks through the history of DTLA. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

8. Enjoy the world premiere of a new version of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion from December 7-10. Check for discounted tickets on select dates before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

9. The Museum of Failure has landed in Los Angeles at A+D Architecture and Design Museum in the Arts District. Exhibits include some of recent history’s biggest commercial flops, including Donald Trump’s board game, the Harley-Davidson Perfume, the Apple Newton, the Betamax, Google Glass, and more.

10. Spamilton a parody that celebrates and roasts the Broadway musical will make its West Coast premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. Happening throughout the week. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar) 

11. The L.A. Auto Show is back for another round of test drives, new car showcases and ‘The Garage” aftermarket hall from December 1-10.

12. Something Rotten!, a hilarious new musical comedy tells the story of brothers playwrights overshadowed by the great Will Shakespeare. Follow them as they try to steal the spotlight and end up unexpectedly end up writing the world’s very first musical. The show runs November 21 through December 30. Check for discount tickets while supplies last. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

13. Rooftop Cinema Club Ultimate Holiday Movie Series will host a month-long schedule of Christmas inspired movie screenings from December 1-23. The series continues this weekend with screenings of Home Alone, Nightmare Before Christmas and more

14. See the twinkling lights taking over our city during the Holiday Lights tour of Downtown Los Angeles. The tour is two hours long and starts at Union Station in the evening and ends at Pershing Square. Happening throughout the weekend.

15. Get ready for another season of ice-skating in Downtown Los Angeles when the Bai Holiday Ice Rink returns to Pershing Square from November 16 through January 15, 2018. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar) 

16. The Sorting Room winter session is in full swing with eclectic performances spread over two weeks (through December 21). Each show includes special happy hour drink deals beforehand, with featured talent ranging from poets to composers, jazz singers, Tony Award winners and cabaret singers. This weekend features Shaina Taub (Friday), Pia Toscano (Saturday) and Get Lit! (Sunday).

17. The Heart of Robin Hood offers a fresh take on the most infamous of outlaws from writer David Farr (The Night Manager). Playing at The Wallis from November 29 through December 17.

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

18. Celebrate the magic of the holiday season in Marina del Rey during Snow Wonder, a lively family event, followed by the 55th annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. FREE

19. The Extreme Beer Fest Los Angeles is coming to DTLA’s California Market Center this Saturday with creative beers both local and international. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

20. The Echo Park Craft Fair returns to Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake on December 9-10 for two-days of holiday shopping from 120+ curated vendors and festive activities and entertainment. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

21. The 71st Annual Naples Island Holiday Boat Parade comes to Long Beach on Saturday with an entertaining display of boats of in all shapes and sizes. This year’s theme is “The Canals are Alive with the Sound of Music.” FREE

22. The Grand Chapiteau at Dodger Stadium will be home to Cirque du Soleil’s new big-top show LUZIA. Inspired by the rich culture Mexico, the dazzling acrobatic performance will be heightened by brassy Mexican and Latin American sounds. Happening all weekend. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

23. The Echo Park Community Parade returns to Sunset Boulevard to celebrate the holiday and its vibrant neighborhood.

24. SIP. SHOP. EAT! at The Collective Pop Up Market comes to The Allies in Downtown L.A. for a fun intersection of your favorite things past times: food, style, and drinks. Check for discounted ticketsbefore making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

25. Baldwin Hills Crenshaw presents their Winter Wonderland Holiday Celebration with Council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson and the City of Los Angeles. There will be snow sledding, giveaways, holiday music, a visit from Santa, entertainment, and more. FREE

26. The Renegade Craft Fair comes to Los Angeles State Historic Park for a two-day showcase of some of the best independent craft and design work from artisans and makers.

27. The 7th Annual Holiday Concert & Santa on the Pier returns to Redondo Beach for some seasonal fun, live tunes and a Surfing Santa. FREE

28. Merry Merry Malibu hits the beach December 9-10 for a joyous weekend of holiday festivities at your favorite shopping centers by the water. Hosted by Malibu Village, Malibu Country Mart, and Malibu Lumber Yard, this cheery two-day affair will feature a variety of festive holiday activities including a gingerbread cookie-decorating workshop, holiday tree exhibit, pet adoptions, and holiday carols.

29. The darkest shopping event of the year is back, the 9th Annual Bitchcraft Winter Faire will take place in Highland Park with 30+ food, art and shopping vendors.

30. Take a Downtown Los Angeles foodie walking tour and savor what the bustling neighborhood has to offer. The tour is three hours long, participants will stop at six popular spots to eat and the tour guide will take folks through the history of DTLA. Happening Satruday and Sunday. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

31. Shop local during Artisanal LA Holiday Market taking place in Downtown Arcadia. Over 100 indie makers, crafters, and chefs will be on hand for all your holiday needs. FREE

32. Enchanted: Forest of Light is in full swing at Descanso Gardens offering guests a colorful one-mile path walk through 10 distinct light displays at unique points within the garden including the Oak Grove and the Japanese Garden. The event runs until January 6, 2018. Check for discount tickets while supplies. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

33. Experience the food and culture of East Hollywood’s ethnic neighborhoods through a four hour foodie tour this Saturday. DISCOUNTED

34. ban.do will host an epic holiday event called “the mall” on December 9-10 at their Hollywood Headquarters. The immersive shopping experience is an 80’s mall themed pop-up featuring tons of ban.do items on sale as well as other brand shopping and activations like manis from Olive & June, pretzels from Auntie Anne’s and more.

35. The 2017 Downtown Pomona Christmas Parade will take over the Downtown area with a family friendley parade. FREE

36. “Sanrio Village” at Tanaka Farms is a special seasonal holiday program in Irvine where guests enjoy a festive wagon tour of the 30-acre farm and photo opportunities and with Sanrio characters and Santa himself. Guests can also explore the Holiday Market Stand, offering arts, crafts, and holiday activities for families and children. Happening from November 24 through each weekend until December 17, 2017.

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

37. The Griffith Park Festival of Lights Hike 2017 returns on Sunday. Join a cheery group of hikers as they wear lit outfits by way of Christmas lights for a hike up Mount Hollywood. FREE

38. Le Salon de Musiques presents a stage free chamber musical experience with champagne and high tea to follow at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this Sunday. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

39. Head to the South Bay for a day of holiday festivities, live music and the famous Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Show. The fireworks spectacle begins at 7 p.m. but you won’t want to miss the full day of fun that includes a snow park and sled hill. FREE

40. This Sunday the Hanukkah Festival: LA/LA will take place at the Skirball Cultural Center. Highlights include Latin Jewish bands, cumbia dance lessons, hands-on art activities, a chocolate decorating workshop & live storytelling. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED(via Goldstar) SPECIAL NOTE: The Skirball Cultural center was closed on Thursday, December 7 due to the nearby wildfire in the region. Please be sure to check with Skirball’s official website for the latest updates on closures and/or cancelling of this event.

41. Stevie Wonder’s Annual Benefit Concert at The Staple Center will help collect toys and other donations for children, the disabled and families in need. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

42. Pee Cast Blast, an all-day, Monsters of Rock-style event featuring the best comedy podcasts of all time takes over the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles this Sunday .

43. The 36th Annual Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade will take place this Sunday. This year’s theme is “Peace on Earth” with the parade starting at the corner of Eastern and Sherman Canal at 4 p.m. FREE

44. Sherman Oaks resident Mike Ziemkowski’s elaborate Christmas themed animatronic characters will return once again with Lights on Display a dazzling light show with a playlist of holiday tunes spun by the beloved DJ Jingles. The show runs every night until January 1, 2018. FREE

45. Five holiday-themed concerts will be performed by the LA Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall between December 2 and 18. Expect Handel, Bach and more.

46. One of L.A.’s most magical holiday traditions, LA Zoo Lights returns November 17 through January 7 with thousands upon thousands of LED lights glowing up the zoo. Check for discounted ticketsbefore making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

47. Happy Place brings a bright and immersive pop-up experience to the Arts District starting today. Capture perfect Instagram moments and enjoy sweet treats as you journey through one-of-a-kind installations designed to make you smile. Runs on select dates through January 7, 2018.

48. Get into the winter spirit when ICE at Santa Monica returns with a 8,000 square foot ice skating rink. Running November 1, 2017 through January 5, 2018.

49. Rockwell: Table & Stage present the unauthorized musical parody of John Hughes classic Home Alone. Happening Thursday through the weekend. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

50. The Holiday Light Festival Train Ride at Griffith Park is a festive one mile ride on the tracks with tens of thousands of lights to get you in the Holiday spirit. Running now through December 23 and then again from December 26 to December 30.

Schedule provided by We Like LA.

Parties and other obligations fill calendars quickly at this time of year, leaving little time for fun with the kids. But you can make this a meaningful holiday season for yourself and the ones you love by planning exciting, interesting things to do in Los Angeles as the year draws to a close.

Avoid the shopping madness with the little ones. Instead put on ice skates and glide together hand in hand, sing favorite holiday songs at the top of your lungs, catch oldie-but-goodie holiday TV cartoons while sipping hot cocoa, and make snow angels together.

Indeed there are plenty of unique ways to enjoy the holidays in L.A. We hope this list helps you make it more joyful by gazing at fireworks, watching a boatful of Christmas parades, oohing and aahing at holiday lights, and, most importantly, being together with the friends and family.

1. Holiday Concert at Disney Hall

A sing-along is always good ol’-fashioned fun. Take in a lively afternoon on December 16 with the LA Phil at the grand Walt Disney Concert Hall and belt out favorite holiday tunes including “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Silent Night” and many more. Sing along with a choir, jazz combo and the Hall’s huge pipe organ. Actress Melissa Peterman (of TV hit Reba) emcees the event. Guests are invited to a “pre-concert” event, featuring complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and photos with Santa. –> Jingle all the way to Walt Disney Concert Hall.

2. Holly Jolly Day at JW Marriott

Perfect for every kid (and kid at heart), the annual Holly Jolly ice skating and holiday treats event at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE on December 16 offers merry fun. From ice skating on the L.A. LIVE rink to sugar rushes on sweets and treats with Santa, and sipping hot chocolate (boozy hot chocolate for the adults), Holly Jolly offers quality time for the entire family. Be sure to check out the hotel’s enormous 1,300 pound gingerbread bar made of cookie dough and sugar, where Santa will be greeting the kids. Reservations are required. –> Holly Jolly tickets here.

3. The Science of Gingerbread at Discovery Cube

It’s on at The Discovery Cube this holiday season! Bring the family in to explore, design and compete in the world of gingerbread from November 24 to December 31. The exhibit is tasty in so many ways — visitors will learn how science, math and engineering impact the kitchen (Good Eats fans will love this), specifically when baking gingerbread, the classic holiday dessert. Interactive exhibits include building a car out of holiday candy to race in a Gingerbread Derby. Interested in designing a gingerbread creation to compete in the Science of Gingerbread competition? Enter soon — the deadline is December 3. –> Get doughy for gingerbread.

4. L.A. Zoo Lights

Oh, what fun it is to visit the L.A. Zoo at night. It’s that most wonderful time of year when the zoo opens its doors nightly through January 7 for its brilliant holiday light displays. L.A. Zoo Lights is a festive night out for the entire family (and easy on the strollers), dazzling with 3D visuals, and a water show while many of the zoo’s residents are asleep. Visitors will get a chance to see real reindeer before they take off on their journey with Santa. –> Lions and bears and reindeer here.

5. 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade

Kick off your holiday season Hollywood style by getting in the mood at the 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade with a special appearance by Santa. On November 26 at 5 p.m., parade goers will line up along Hollywood Blvd. to wave and catch a glimpse of celebrities including Dr. Oz, this year’s Grand Marshall. Equestrians, high school marching bands, celebrities (last year featured Olivia Newton-John, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny G, the Beach Boys and Erik Estrada) and gigantic balloons of Garfield the Cat, a toy soldier, Gumby, a gingerbread man and Rilakkuma will figure among the highlights. –> Here comes Santa Claus, right down Hollywood Blvd.

6. Holiday Boat Parade in Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey will tend to everyone’s holiday spirit at the 55th Annual Holiday Boat Parade on December 9. First will be a fireworks show at 5:55 p.m. Immediately afterwards, the marina’s yachts and boats will make a festive splash by parading its sensational lights and holiday decorations. Over the years, parade themes have varied from Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas to Adventures on the Sea to An Animated Holiday. Boaters circle the main channel of the harbor at least twice, giving spectators a fun show. Participants submit boat displays as part of a competition. For best viewing, grab a spot at Burton Chace Park. –> Boat parade ahead.

7. Hanukkah Festival at Skirball Cultural Center

Celebrate Hanukkah at Skirball Cultural Center on December 10. This year’s lively program, inspired by the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, gives festival goers an opportunity to delve into the traditions of Hanukkah via the Latin American communities of Los Angeles. So, what does this mean? Dancing to Latin Jewish Klezmer bands, creating a community art installation with Sandy Rodriguez, learning about Mexican chocolate and decorating chocolate gelt with private chef/educator Maite Gomez-Rejón, and listening to Mario Ibarra and Julia Garcia Combs, who will tell the story of Hanukkah in English and Spanish. –> Eight nights of light here.

8. ICE in Santa Monica

Ice skating just a few blocks from the beach is a thing. This year, the ICE at Santa Monica outdoor 8,000 square foot rink is the place for holiday vibing. Now through January 15, the arena is open to all levels of skaters. For a holiday gathering, ICE offers cabanas for $300/two-hour slots. If you or your little ones need a lesson or a brush-up on technique, lessons through Randy Gardner’s School of Skating are available. –> Must do.

9. The Nutcracker

Seeing The Nutcracker ballet is a very traditional way to celebrate the holidays. Luckily, the stunning Los Angeles Ballet company performs this beautiful production from December 9-31 at various venues around Los Angeles. Set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved music, The Nutcracker captivates all ages with life-size toy soldiers and dolls, a Mouse King and his soldiers, dancing snowflakes, and, of course, a princess (Clara) and a prince (the Nutcracker).

For sugar plum fairies, visit here.

10. Classic Holiday Cartoons & More at The Paley Center for Media

You might want to scratch the mall Santa this year — instead, plan a family outing to The Paley Center for Media. This year, the center is featuring It’s Holiday Time in PaleyLand, which includes a free visit with Santa Claus, daily screenings between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. of classic holiday TV programs including Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Rugrats Kwanzaa, Frosty the Snowman, and more. Kids will also enjoy ornament-making and hot cocoa. –> Visit Paleyland.

11. Free Christmas Eve Concert at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Musical artists, choirs, bands and dance companies will come together to perform a free holiday spectacular show at the 58th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration. This Christmas eve tradition welcomes the public to a three-hour show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center from 3 to 6 p.m. Th diverse line-up will include the Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble, performing both Christmas and Hanukkah melodies, along with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Band, the MUSYCA Children’s Choir, the Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Company, Las Colibri, the City Ballet of Los Angeles, and many more. Seating is first-come, first-served, so get there early. Doors open at 2:30 p.m –> Free Christmas Eve show at The Music Center.

12. Snow Days at Kidspace Museum

Pull out the snow gear and head over to Kidspace Children’s Museum for the gift of a real winter wonderland. Kidspace offers a snowy playground where kids can explore the science of snow, build snowmen, create snow angels and throw snowballs — all in the name of wintry fun. Head into the museum for cookie decorating, winter-themed arts and crafts and live holiday performances. –> Bring hats and mittens here.

13. Marvel at Christmas Lights at Candy Cane Lane

A neighborhood beautifully lit for the holidays is hosted solely by the residents of one Woodland Hills neighborhood at Oxnard and Lubao streets. Candy Cane Lane is sure to give the entire family all the holiday feels. Beginning December 2, spectators will enjoy quite the show, either by foot or by car. Since 1952, this neighborhood’s been going all out by transforming into a holiday destination with decorations, lights, animated displays, snowy rooftops, and Santa and his reindeer. Put the kids in pajamas, fill a thermos with hot chocolate, and play Christmas music in your car while cruising up and down the local streets. –> Eight blocks of holiday lights.

Article by We Like LA.