NELA Living Blog by Emilie Broughton

9 Tips To Prepare Your Home Before Going On Vacation





Whether you’re going out of town for two days or a few weeks, there are things you can do to prepare your home for your absence and for your smooth return. It is important to have a checklist of what needs to be done and to start planning in advance.

Here are some things to do in preparation for that much-needed vacation and to ensure a relaxing first night back at home.

Pet Care: Find a family member or friend to stay in your home and keep your pet company, feed and play with your pet and clean the litter box or take them out for their daily walk. If you do not have someone who can stay at your home while you are away, do research to find the best boarding facility to suit your pets’ needs. There are hotels and even spas for pets now and they may just get the same royal treatment you will be receiving when you are away. Be sure to leave detailed instructions with the pet sitter or facility on caring for your furry family member and be sure to leave your pet’s favorite foods, treats, toys, and other much-needed medication and supplies on hand.

Clean out the fridge: Throw away food that will expire while you’re gone and wipe down all surfaces.

Tackle the laundry: Wash and put away the laundry before you leave.

Prep your plants: Ask the pet sitter or if you don’t have anyone staying in the home, contact a trusted friend, family member or neighbor to water your plants, and be sure to leave multiple lists of all plants and their locations. Otherwise, invest in self-watering plant stakes.

Leave a light on: During a short trip, leave a few lamps on throughout the house to make it look occupied. For a longer vacation, invest in inexpensive automatic timers that can turn our lights on and off at staggered intervals, making your house look occupied. Alert your home-security service or a trusted neighbor so one or the other can keep an eye out as well.

Unplug and reset the thermostat: Temporarily adjust the thermostat so the air-conditioner or heater won’t waste energy by running in an empty house. Unplug unnecessary appliances in preparation for your absence.

Hold mail and newspapers: A call to your post office and news carrier will put your mail and newspapers on hold so they won’t pile up in front of your house while you’re gone.

Change the sheets: Make up beds with fresh sheets for a welcoming first night.

Tidy the house: Sweep or vacuum floors; Do the dishes; Wipe down counters in the bathroom and kitchen with an all-purpose cleaner; Give toilets a quick clean.

Most of all, enjoy yourself! Take lots of pics and try not to post them on social media if your home will be unoccupied until you return. This will help to keep your home safe while you are away.

Category: Blog |

Five Star Professional Real Estate HEAT Index – June 2019


Curious about the housing market? Find out the latest trends in real estate with the Real Estate HEAT Index for April 2019 from Five Star Professional.

The Real Estate HEAT (Housing Experts Anticipating Trends) Index is a monthly leading indicator of nearly 40 housing markets in the U.S.

Five Star Professional partners with thousands of real estate agents who complete a weekly survey about the conditions they are observing in their marketplace.

The HEAT Index has a midpoint of 50, this means the market is neither hot nor cold.

A higher Real Estate HEAT index is correlated with:
• Rising buyer traffic
• A seller’s market
• Rising home prices










Category: Blog |

LA Design Festival Hosts ADU Home Tour on June 22nd









As Los Angeles faces a profound housing shortage, California officials and real estate experts are looking at this housing typology as a potential solution: the Accessory Dwelling Unit (or ADU), aka granny flat or in-law unit.  Thousands of Angelenos already live in backhouses, but new state policies passed in 2016 are meant to make these small urban residences more simple, transforming homeowners into micro-developers.  ADUs provide housing and they can also add density to single-family areas where new apartment complexes would be difficult to construct.

Join me in meeting some of the innovators who are embracing the new typology and using technology to make it easier and more efficient to create these backyard residences. This is going to be a much-needed push forward for the real estate industry.

Bunch Design
bunchADU offers ready-to-go ADU designs for the Los Angeles area. Bunch Design is a practice that creates high-quality modern design.  bunchADU will have two completed ADUs on the tour.

Cover is a technology company that designs and builds quality custom homes.  Homes can be constructed efficiently and are uncompromising in their design and performance.

LA Mas (ADU Pilot Program)
With a housing crisis heightened by the supply shortage, LA-Más is teaming up with Council District 1 and the Mayor’s Innovation Team on a Pilot Program that tests how an ADU can be both affordable and contextual.

Architect Alexis Rochas has developed a prefabricated building system that allows for efficient construction of ADUs.  Oasys has designed and built a model ADU at ROW DTLA that will be on view for through the summer.  The first Oasys was completed and constructed in Palm Springs in a weekend.  Oasys in The Narrows was built in collaboration with Haier, Marvin, Resource Furniture, Vadara, and Amberleaf with interior design by Natalie Myers of Veneer Design.

Paul and Yuki Gasiorkiewicz (5+ Design)
Architect Paul Gasiorkiewicz and his wife Yuki Gasiorkiewicz designed a sleek and modern ADU on his Echo Park property that exemplifies their own brand of warm minimalism.

Check-in at ROW DTLA and tour the Oasys on The Narrows before heading off on this self-guided tour.  Homes are located in the Highland Park, Echo Park, and Mid-City neighborhoods. Locations and a guide will be provided at check-in.


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
This is a self-guided tour. Parking is available but will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. We suggest carpooling with friends or ride sharing.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
E-mail Liz Medina at

What’s the refund policy?
No refunds but tickets are transferrable if you let us know in advance.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
No, you can bring the digital/e-mail ticket and/or we’ll have you on our list. Please don’t print!

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?
Yes, if you let us know by MONDAY, JUNE 17.

For tickets and more information, please visit:

Category: Blog |

Summer Nights At Descanso Gardens












Summer is approaching sooner than we think and that means there will be plenty of outdoor activities in and around the Los Angeles area. From concerts in the park to food festivals, museum, art gallery, botanical garden events and more; there is something for everyone. Descanso Gardens in La Canada has just kicked off their Summer Nights series which promises to be a fun way to welcome in the warmer season. Below is a list of the upcoming festivities.

World Rhythms (Advance tickets required)Six Tuesdays from June 18 – July 23
Join us for a summer series of world music and dance that honors and celebrates the diversity of LA. Bring a picnic or purchase food from Patina’s concession stand. Lawn chairs are allowed and lawn seating is on a first-come, first serve basis.

Summer Songs (Advance tickets required) – Six Wednesdays from June 19 – July 24
Relax in the beauty of the Rose Garden as The Flashdance DJs spin all-vinyl sets of tunes. Enjoy a cold beer and wander through Descanso as the sun sets. 

Music on the Main (Advance tickets required) Eight Thursdays from June 6 – July 25
Enjoy eight evenings of live music presented by some of the coolest jazz artists in the Southland. Bring a picnic or purchase food from Patina’s concession stand. Lawn chairs are allowed and lawn seating is on a first-come, first serve basis.

Beer Garden Nights Five Thursdays from Aug. 1–29
Descanso keeps its doors open late from 5–8pm on Thursdays in August. There will be a beer garden and food available for purchase. No advance ticketing required.

End of  Summer Nights Celebration  (Advance tickets required)Wednesday, Aug. 28
Grab a cold drink and relax to the tunes of The Flashdance DJs, wander through the gardens to the sounds of live music. Enjoy the sunset, then end the night with some stargazing in the Oak Woodland.

Please note: Tickets are limited to 6 per household; those reserving more than 6 tickets will have all additional tickets invalidated. Some events are already sold out so it is suggested to check the website and reserve tickets prior to showing up to the venue.

For a full calendar of events, visit

Category: Blog |