Winston Cenac is the founder/broker of Bulldog Realtors, which opened its doors in Venice 18 years ago. It currently operates out of a 1912 craftsman bungalow at 12090 Abbot Kinney.
The company has approximately 55 agents who cover Venice, Santa Monica, and Mar Vista. For more information, call 310.452.5004 or visit bulldogrealtors.com.
How’s the real estate business?
Winston Cenac: People ask us that all the time. It’s booming on the higher end. On the lower end it’s softer. Last May, 28 single-family homes were for sale in Venice. This June, there are 48 single-family homes. The average number of days on market is about 15 percent longer.
Why is the lower end softer?
Winston Cenac: Well for one thing, it’s harder for the little guy to get a loan. Yes there were abuses in the past but good people who didn’t have great income were able to get loan and pay their mortgages on time. Today, it’s much harder.
What would be your advice to these borrowers?
Winston Cenac: Be persistent. If some nice guy at Wells Fargo tells you don’t qualify for a loan, call us. We’ll give you the phone numbers of some nice guys – they’re creative and honest.
What’s going on along Abbot Kinney?
Winston Cenac: The other day I saw a Brink’s truck on Abbot Kinney for the first time – so I’d say “money” is going on. Last month, a 1,600 square foot storefront across from us sold for $5.8 million. But it’s cyclical. There will be a day when Abbot Kinney prices are lower – and when you can actually get parking.
You wanted to talk about superstitions?
Winston Cenac: When you called I was looking up the phone number for a Shinto priest we keep on file. About once a year we have to get a house blessed or smudged or assessed by a feng shui expert.
What is the biggest superstition?
Winston Cenac: That if you list your house high, you’ll get a good sale because people like to negotiate. The truth is you list your house just a little low, buyers will think they’re getting a bargain and bid the price up.
What do you miss most about the old Venice?
Winston Cenac: I miss Hal’s. Hal had this ultra-cool way of reaching over and turning down the lights. Everybody looked good at Hal’s.