Showing posts with label Tiger Woods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tiger Woods. Show all posts

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Polack's view of SoCal real estate

Goodbye, Long Beach.

For the past 18 years, I have lived in Long Beach, Calif. — a gritty, eclectic city in Los Angeles County. But those days have ended.

My home at 3390 Lees Ave. has been sold, and for the time being, I am homeless — temporarily living in a long-term hotel I like so far.

Luckily, I am in the midst of escrow to get another home, three miles from the previous one. But this one is in a different city — Cypress, Calif., in Orange County.

The move is an upgrade in many ways. The home itself is much larger. The street is much quieter. The community may have more cache. But, man, it has been an extremely difficult process to execute this move.

Without the boredom of all of the details of why this move has been so difficult, let's just leave it at this: Southern California real estate. Gotta love it (yeah, right).

Cypress — I imagine not a lot of people outside of Southern California know anything about it. Perhaps its claim to fame is that it's where Tiger Woods grew up. I'm hoping his selfish personality never rubbed off on the Cypress community. By the way, here's the house Tiger grew up in:
Regardless of this move, my identity remains entrenched with Cleveland. However, my 18 years in Long Beach rivals my Cleveland time. Once I made it to college, I never again was a full-time resident of Cleveland. But with so many formidable experiences, and important friends and family, there, I know that home will always be CLE.

Long Beach has evolved, as have I, in my 18 years there. But I must stop my lamenting, reminiscing, etc., about L.B. In fact, this whole premise of "leaving Long Beach" is a bit silly because my daughters will still be going to school there, and I will be about a mile and half from its border.

This move made me realize three main things that I would recommend to everyone for better living. I guess they're my Polish real estate tips. But, really, these tips can help any Polack improve his life ASAP:

1) Throw away stuff — as much stuff as possible — immediately, and avoid bringing crap into the house. I had been in my home for just under eight years. To me, that isn't especially long, but it was significant. I thought I tried to keep junk out of the house, but with perpetual trips to Target, I brought in way more stuff than was necessary. I felt liberated to throw stuff away. If it does not bring you joy, do not keep it.

2) Do home improvements ASAP, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. I was pretty good with this one, although my L.B. home was in excellent condition when I got it eight years ago. But I had to upkeep this place, and I added a few minor upgrades.

The couple who moved in had a legitimate "turnkey." I moved out on a Thursday. They moved in on Friday, the next day. Too often I see people do upgrades to their home just to sell it. Why not do that early so you can enjoy those upgrades?

3) Location, location, location. Yeah, that adage in real estate is totally correct. I found something fascinating in Cypress. Nearly the entire city had similar home prices, yet after seeing a boatload of homes, I could pinpoint the best homes to two tracts. Once we sold our Long Beach home, it became a waiting game to hope something came on the market in those tracts.

It's still a bit of a waiting game, as we must complete escrow before we can remodel a bit and then move in. But at least the most hectic part is over — moving all my worldly possessions, but throwing out a ton that I realized had zero street value.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ivey makes WSOP final table: How did I miss this?

Because I had a journalistic career that often forced me to write about celebrities and athletes, I never am too excited or nervous to meet celebrities. When someone says something like, "Guess who was on my airplane?" Well, that doesn't interest or impress me.

With that said, I do have a handful of celebrity stories that do not involve basketball players (I covered the NBA for seven years). Of those stories, the best two are probably the ones in which I was confronted and called out. That happened with Meat Loaf and Martina Navratilova. No joke. Navratilova, in particular, was pissed.

Anyway, I did once meet a celebrity that interested me, and that was poker pro Phil Ivey, the Tiger Woods of poker. He is friends with Mike Dunleavy, the coach of the team I used to cover, and Ivey came to a couple basketball games. My brief conversations with Ivey were uneventful. But I am into poker, so I was all smiles when I shook his hand and introduced myself.

In my unofficial rankings of poker pros, I place Ivey second in popularity behind goofy Phil Hellmuth. TV poker viewers might argue that Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Laak (the Unabomber) or their own personal favorite is the second most popular pro. But I don't think so. It's Ivey.

Ivey is of note now because he made the final table at this year's World Series of Poker main event. That is extremely hard to do because there were 6494 entrants this year, and to be one of the final nine players takes more than just skill and a Full Tilt jersey.

Ivey's presence at the final table surely will lift ESPN's ratings for the "November Nine," which reconvenes Nov. 7. My feeling is that poker remains uber-popular, but its popularity peaked in 2006 when there were a record 8773 players at the WSOP main event.

Ivey and other card celebrities could give poker's popularity another push this year. By the way, the only other big-time poker celebrity to make it far in this year's main event was Antonio Esfandiari, the magician. He finished 24th and won $350,000. Ivey is assured $1.25 million at the final table, and the winner will get $8.5 million.