Monday, November 5, 2012

Beloved Job Perks

When people ask me what I do I tell them that "I Fight Homelessness", which is a 100% true and accurate, albeit unexpected answer. After the person looks at me with confusion or compassionate adoration I go on to explain I am a Realtor and I love this gig.  Someone wise once said that if you find a job you love, you'll never work a day in your life. I feel that I have not worked in years. In the right way, of course. One of the many perks of the job is getting to meet lots of different people from all walks of life. Some are really cool. Some are so cool that they make me custom mugs as Thank You presents. These rarefied few are so appreciated I occasionally blog about them.

Yes, the lovely couple who bought this cute Highland Park Craftsman are quite a errr....crafty pair. Hubby is a sculptor by trade and sometimes would go view houses with makeup blood on his hands and clothing. Wife is an art teacher, craft beer brewer and creator of my lauded mug. This is a talented pair to be certain. They made me this mug which has different catch phrases from our two month house hunt. "record players", "lighting fixtures  and my favorite "claw foot tubs.". I feel so delighted they gave me such a cool present I am blushing. In keeping with their outstanding Karma, they got an excellent deal on this 3+2 dollhouse in BOOMING Highland Park 90042.

To give you an idea how expensive Highland Park is getting, I just sold a house the next street over last month for $530,000 that was only about 100 sq. feet bigger than this one. My clients H+D got this property for $333,500. Their mortgage payment is under $1500 including everything. This is a great deal that went to great people who deserve to have an affordable and cool house to start their lives in. They could rent this for probably $2000-$2200 and make positive cash flow from day one. Buying Real Estate right now at these relatively low prices and holding on forever is a wise financial move. The neighborhoods of NELA are very hot right now because they are still affordable for most and near downtown, Silver Lake and Pasadena. The lesson learned here is that if you are a good person and you are patient, you can get a great property if you heed the advise of your friendly broker. Bravo guys!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Updates from NELA - it's a Sellers market out here.

Feeling that summer heat in the real estate market? If you are trying to buy a house right now and you've been getting burned by bidding wars you're not alone.

OK, I'll stop with the all the cheesy Realtor summer cliches.

Summer is always the busiest time in the residential real estate market. It is has been since I got into this industry in 2003 and I'm pretty sure it has always been that way.  There are more buyers out putting offers on properties in Summer than any other season. Pricing becomes more competitive, over bidding happens most frequently in the Summer and people start acting a little house crazy. Traditional explanation of this phenomena is that parents want to move while their kids are out of school and this makes sense because after September the market usually calms down. Below is a graph of total units sold in Highland Park 90042 and Eagle Rock 90041 over the last two years. Note the big month of June in all three years, consistently among the highest on the chart.

But there are other forces at work this particular year. This Summer prices are way up in my East side neighborhoods of Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Highland Park. Gentrification, relatively low prices for Los Angeles and the abundant "hipster flips" are all factors causing NELA  to explode in popularity and price. Here is a chart showing the medial sold price by month in zip codes 90041,90042 and 90065. The median price is up 20% year over year. That's quite a bump. This can't all be because of hipsters moving in droves to the area and snatching up rehabbed craftsman houses, can it? I don't know.

Another colorful LA neighborhood map is a variation on the same theme. This shows the number of sold single family homes in Eagle Rock is up 43% year over year from 4th quarter 2010 to 4th quarter 2011. A healthy increase in sales volume and on par with some other areas of the city. Look at all the neighborhoods in red (increasing in sales) around LA. 100% increase in Hollywood in a year? That is startling. Market volume is increasing in our neighborhood. More volume does not automatically equate to higher prices but in this case it seems to.

Here is a typical case study of the current summer buyer frenzy in NELA. Below is a picture of an LA times front page from June 2012.  The blue house featured in the picture was one in Highland Park just off York Blvd. It was a nice 3 bedroom 2 bath house at 1428 Mt. Pleasant. It was not a flip and was not in excellent condition.  It was listed for $379k. I showed it to one of my buyers who loved it and bid $450k on it. It got over 60 offers in two weeks and sold for $542k all cash.  So that means there are 59 other ready willing and able buyers who did not get this house and are still out there looking. After losing out in a few bidding wars, many buyers will get frustrated and write ridiculously high offers on the next property they like. This perpetuates the overbidding cycle and pushes prices up quickly.

So what's a buyer to do? Be patient. Unless you have to buy right now, it's OK to wait until after the school sensitive buyers exit the market and things calm down in October. Don't get frustrated and overpay for a house-there will always be more out there. Although the market appears to have turned the corner and is now climbing prices are still low and interest rates are very low. There are still many more foreclosures in the pipeline that will need to work their way through the system and will hold prices down (unless all the flippers swoop in and push them up). I personally don't think the foreclosure backlog will be cleared out before 2015 so most buyers still have time to snag a good property in this real estate market down turn.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sky's Gorgeous New Listing in Hip Highland Park - 5656 Aldama st. 90042

5656 Aldama st. is my new Preferred Realty and Loan listing in the hot LA neighborhood that everybody seems to ask me about, Highland Park. Highland Park is a hilly and historic area in Northeast Los Angeles (NELA to the locals) just North of Downtown LA. "HLP" runs along the Arroyo Seco and 110 freeway and has many beautiful views of Downtown and the San Gabriel Mountains from its palm tree lined streets. HLP is on the upswing and is gentrifying quickly just like Silver Lake did 10 years ago as artists, musicians and creative types flock to the lush valleys and hillsides. New restauraunts are opening on York Blvd each month and the Highland Park Art Walk is getting bigger all time. In the last couple of years Highland Park has blossomed into a hip, fun and stylish neighborhood. It is very centrally located on the East Side of Los Angeles, no more than 10 minutes from Downtown LA, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Silver Lake or Echo Park. There is a Metro Stop to allow train access all over the city and there are three freeways nearby making it a short trip to anywhere. Prices in this neighborhood are lower than neighboring South Pasadena and Eagle Rock but home prices in the zip code 90042 is steadily increasing as more and more people discover the area and move in.

Location of 5656 Aldama in Highland Park, Los Angeles CA 90042.
View Larger Map

My listing at 5656 Aldama is situated essentially in the middle of Highland Park nearby both the York Blvd. and Figueroa Blvd. commercial areas. This historcal home has been painstakingly renovated and brought back to life as a stylish oasis. The grounds of the home are very lush, with tall mature trees all around. This is a "Green" house in every sense of the word.  In the front yard are drought tolerant succulents on top of xeriscaping to be very water conscious. Giant old bamboo trees line the North side of the property and provide shade and privacy with an Asian flair.

5656 Aldama st. Front View

Standing on the driveway 

Open the vintage 20th century front door to find the entry area bathed in warm light from the beautiful antique lighting fixture.

Step inside the home and take in the open floorplan. From the entryway you can see the living room, dining room throgh the kitchen all the way back into the laundry area.  The living area is large and inviting and presents an excellent venue for entertaining.

Original Craftsman Box Beams in the Living Room provide classic architectural appeal. Recessed lights and a custom vintage lighting fixture illuminate the eco-friendly carbonized bamboo flooring throughout the house.

The Dining Room features a truly one of a kind chandelier. Bar stools so we can belly up to the kitchen counter.

Sleek modern kitchen with concrete countertops and stainless steel appliances. Open floor plan to it's highest and best use.

Behind the Kitchen is an exit to the outside and behind double doors is a full laundry room. 

Going into the Hallway between Kitchen/Master Bedroom/First Bathroom and Second Bedroom

Same Hallway looking the other direction from the Master Bedroom

The Hallway Bathroom

Bedroom #1. TONS of natural light pours in through the dual payne energy efficient windows.

Bedroom #2

Master Bedroom

French Doors lead to the back yard.

His and Hers Closets in the Master Bedroom

The Master Bathroom has Bead Board walls and features a gorgeous claw foot bath tub. 

Carrera Subway Tile Floor in the Master Bathroom

The Back Yard

Door into the Laundry Room+Kitchen area

Driveway leading to two covered parking spots and at least 3 other parking spots. 5656 Aldama has ample parking.

5656 Aldama st. Los Angeles (Highland Park) CA 90042 is 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms with 1272 square feet sitting on a 4000 square foot lot. The owners renovated everything and did the work with permits. The property is listed for $439,000. FHA buyers welcomed.

For more information or to schedule a showing contact Sky Minor at 310-709-8283