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Summer 2017 Market Update: Homes Between $800k – $900k

In this series we’re taking a look at homes sold at various price points around LA’s Eastside in the first half of 2017. Since homes in today’s market rarely sell at their asking price, we’ll be focusing instead on selling price. What will a budget between $800,000 – $900,000 get you on the Eastside and what kind of process should you expect? Read below to find out.

1055 Alta Pine Dr

1055 Alta Pine Dr: This 1952 Altadena mid-century post & beam was designed by Case Study architect Kemper Nomland (but is not a Case Study home). This home was very well-preserved overall but needed some work & updates. Walls of glass bringing the outdoors in and a thoughtful layout are hallmarks of these incredible homes. Was asking $769,000 and sold for $900,000.

2303 Riverdale Ave

2303 Riverdale Ave: Frogtown continues to be one of the hottest hoods in LA. This 2bd, 2ba, 1,100 architect-designed Spanish home comes complete with restored hardwoods, central heat & air, solar panels, a remodeled kitchen, a full garage, a deck, and a meandering garden path leading to a pergola. Was asking $749,000 and closed 3 weeks later for $849,000.

3937 Roderick Rd

3937 Roderick Rd: Enter this 1,486 sq ft Glassell Park Spanish home through a private courtyard and walk up the steps to panoramic views. This home features all the things we appreciate of this style and era – the hardwoods, arched doorways, and tilework – with the added bonus of a location right in the middle of the Eastside action. Was asking $749,000 and sold for $825,000.

1720 Winmar Dr

1720 Winmar Dr: This Glassell Park home was a hot commodity and it’s no wonder, look at that yard and those views! The home was only 1,074 sq ft (though felt a little bigger due to high ceilings and it’s hillside perch) but the massive 7,694 sq ft completely enclosed lot is a rarity in this area, featuring both a flat grassy area and multiple decked hillside areas with views. Fully remodeled and sitting pretty on the edge of Glassell Park and Mt Washington, this home was asking $649,000 and went $181,000 over asking closing for a whopping $830,000!

4126 Sea View Dr

4126 Sea View Dr: A great middle-ground between square footage and location, this 3bd 1,680 sq ft home sits on a super-private portion of Sea View Ave (one of the most sought-after streets in Mt Washington) and is walkable to coveted Mt. Washington Elementary. It could use some small updates but still has large bedrooms, nice hardwood floors, and a huge 8,914 sq ft lot. Was asking $799,000 and sold for $890,000.

Altadena Craftsman

931 New York Dr: This Altadena Craftsman is the perfect level of “needs some work but not too much work”. Keep the hardwoods and built-ins and put a pool in that huge backyard so you’ll have a place to relax after a long day ripping out that carpet upstairs. 2,701 square feet to spread out on 1/3 of an acre 5 minutes from the mountains and 15 minutes to downtown – you really can’t go wrong. Was asking $849,000 and sold for $865,000.

6309 Meridian

6309 Meridian: For a buyer wanting to be in the middle of the Highland Park action and also make some rental income, this 2,036 sq ft duplex hits all the marks. Classic character, built-ins, gleaming hardwoods, and moderately-updated kitchens/baths plus a nice backyard to round it all out. Was asking $799,000 and closed for $865,000.

683 E. Pine

683 E. Pine St: Another great “live in one and rent out the other” opportunity in Altadena – this one is 2 separate homes totalling almost 2,000 sq ft on an exceptionally large 11,730 sq ft lot with fruit trees and vegetable gardens. The front house is a precious 1904 Victorian with great light while the back house is a 1bd/1ba lofted space with a lovely deck. Was asking $699,000 and sold for $800,000.

Montecito Heights Craftsman

526 E. Avenue 39: This 2,180 sq ft Montecito Heights Craftsman makes my heart sing. It might just be all that colorful Jonathan-Adler-inspired staging mixed with the classic cool solid wood front door (thank you dear flipper/homeowner for keeping that original door!), fireplace, hardwoods, and built-ins or it might be the decking, the views, the terraced yard, or the bonus space. Or maybe it’s that green kitchen tile. Either way, I’m into it. Was asking $849,000 and sold for $869,000.

Pasadena Spanish

400 Carmelo Ave: This quintessential 3bd, 2ba California Spanish home is a great mix of the right amount of updates and the right amount of original character. Tucked into a quiet pocket of East Pasdadena, yet still a relatively close distance to tons of shopping and restaurants. Flat lot with mountain views. Great yard, yet not needing too much maintenance. This is the Goldilox of houses. Was asking $813,000 and sold for $836,000.

This price point has so many great homes I actually had a hard time narrowing down what to feature. From this compound in Pasadena, to this ultra-modern small-lot home in Echo Park, to this well-rounded Victorian in Highland Park, to this well-situated South Pasadena loft (or this South Pasadena townhouse) there is literally something for everyone.

What to expect with a $800,000 – $900,000 budget: This price point has a little something for everyone. You can be in a smaller but nicely updated condo or home in the hottest area, get a little more square footage for a slightly less-updated home in a great area, or go another 5-10 minutes out and get a large home with a mix of updates or even 2 homes on a lot.
Though this price point has plenty of options, it also has plenty of competition. It’s not unusual for homes to go $100,000 or more over their asking price. Depending on what level of finishes and what neighborhood you’d like to be in, it’s safe to plan on shopping about $100,000 – $200,000 under budget to give yourself wiggle room for closing costs, bidding wars, and unexpected repairs. 

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Summer 2017 Market Update: Homes Between $700k – $800k

In this series we’re taking a look at homes sold at various price points around LA’s Eastside in the first half of 2017. Since homes in today’s market rarely sell at their asking price, we’ll be focusing instead on selling price. What will a budget between $700,000 – $800,000 get you in Eastside LA and what kind of process should you expect? Read below to find out.

839 N Avenue 64

839 N. Avenue 64: Be still my little vintage heart! This 888 sq ft Garvanza bungalow had me at hardwoods, arched doorways, casement windows, moulding, farmhouse sink, and clawfoot tub but that was before I went outside to the redwood decking, pergola, converted garage (oh those exposed beam ceilings!), and bonus studio. All this and it even sits right in the middle of historic Garvanza. Sigh. Was asking $585,000 and closed 3 weeks later for $760,000.

1167 montecito dr

1167 Montecito Dr: Who could resist this beautifully landscaped Montecito Heights gem with an enclosed private courtyard area, original hardwoods, fireplace, arched doorways, an updated kitchen, a lovely deck, and a huge yard with a bonus studio, and panoramic views? Buyers pounced on this one –  it got over 30 offers within it’s first week on the market and closed less than a month later. Was asking $625,000 and closed for $792,500.

4465 mont eagle pl

4465 Mont Eagle Pl: The photos don’t do this little English cottage in Eagle Rock justice. In addition to it’s curb appeal it’s got a wonderful light-filled living space centered around vaulted ceilings and a beautiful fireplace, not to mention some of the most epic views in Eagle Rock. Was asking $695,000 and sold for $711,000.

1608 Donaldson St

1608 Donaldson StThis little remodeled 796 sq ft home on a gated 1,996 sq ft lot doesn’t have a garage but it does have some fun tile-work, nice surface updates, and a cute greenhouse/bonus studio but perhaps best of all it’s tucked into a cute woodsy area of Elysian Heights with a downtown skyline view and walkability to numerous neighborhood eateries and coffee shops. Was asking $715,000 and sold for $720,000.

1401 1/2 5th st

1401 1/2 5th St: Transport yourself to a European hillside in this secluded 1,144 sq ft Glendale character home sitting on a long private drive (shared with a few other homes) and featuring dramatic exposed beam ceilings in multiple rooms, hardwood floors, dark wood accents, a fireplace, a loft space, terra cotta tiles, a brick patio, and a super-private lushly landscaped yard. Was asking $629,000 and sold for $718,000.

6301 Meridian

6301 MeridianThis 1924 craftsman in Highland Park’s coveted Garvanza pocket is the perfect fit for someone looking for a home with original character. Hardwoods, a fireplace, casement windows, leaded glass, period light fixtures, wainscoting, and crown moulding are just the tip of the iceberg with this vintage home sitting on a small but nicely-appointed private lot complete with a pergola, kid’s playhouse, and bonus studio space. Was asking $759,000 and closed for $765,000.

2229 Silver Ridge Ave

2229 Silver Ridge AveThis updated 934 sq ft Silver Lake Spanish home may be a little funky (no idea why the fireplace is shoved into a small corner area) but thankfully the flippers did keep the hardwoods, arched windows and doorways, coved ceilings, and some wall panels. Add easy access to the reservoir, Sunset, the 2, the 5, Atwater Village, and the new Whole Foods 365 and this one is a winner. Was asking $799,900 and closed for $795,000.

2823 w avenue 32

2823 W Avenue 32: For homebuyers interested in a bonus guest house for in-laws, friends, or potential air bnb income this character bungalow centrally located in Glassell Park hits all the marks. With 1,040 sq ft in the main house, 400 sq ft in the guest house, and a 200 sq ft office space there’s plenty of room to spread out not to mention restored hardwood floors, built-ins, and super hip gold accents throughout. Was asking $697,000 and sold for $775,000.

1521 Wellesley Dr

1521 Wellesley Dr: This dreamy Adams Hill home has plenty of character, a  great school zone, is centrally located near Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, and Atwater Village and damn if a tree growing through a deck doesn’t get me every time. I picture dinner parties, fairy lights, and maybe even a tree swing. Swoon! Was asking $698,000 and sold for $780,000.

What to expect with a $700,000 – $800,000 budget: As you can see with some of the rather drastic price jumps above, this price point is one of the most competitive right now. But the good news is there is plenty of inventory to choose from with updated character homes in wonderful pockets. For the most part you’re still hovering around 1,000 sq ft but you’re getting better locations and much better finishes than the price points below. If you want more square footage you can have it but you’ll need to make some concessions with finishes and location, depending on what’s important to you. 

Again, it’s good practice to set your search about $100,000 or more under budget, leaving some wiggle room for a potential bidding war, closing costs, and any unexpected repairs you may encounter. Ready to start looking? Click below to see what’s on the market now and click here –> to contact me today!

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Anatomy of a $319,000 Silver Lake Home

Could this cute little Silver Lake cottage be yours for $319,000?

Like a mirage in the desert, this adorable little woodsy hideaway has flickered into the sightlines of Eastside house-hunters causing quite a stir this week. Is it real? Could it be? In a neighborhood where a burned down shack costs $400,000 – how – HOW is this cute as a button cottage listed for a mere $319,000? What’s the catch?

Lets break this down:

Who needs a gym membership when you've got these babies right outside your door?

Catch #1 – Walk Street. Though this home is located on one of the widest, cutest, and most well-maintained walk streets in Silver Lake, it’s on a walk street nonetheless. What does that mean for you? It means there’s no garage or driveway, street parking only, and a short calf-burning jaunt up the stairs to come and go from your home. Not a big deal for many, but potentially a problem for children, the elderly, handicapped, pregnant, or people with strollers, art, or musical equipment frequently needing to be loaded in and out.

What highway noise? I'm sorry, I was too busy bird-watching from the couch to notice.

Catch #2 – The Highway. This home is a stones throw from the 2 which means the constant dull whir of traffic in the background. It’s actually not that audible from inside (or perhaps your brain is so charmed by the treetop views out of those precious vintage French casement windows that you just didn’t notice) but if you’re looking for a serene and quiet outdoor space in a home this isn’t the right fit for you.

The mysterious door to nowhere beckons you. It could open to another dimension, you never know.

Catch #4 – Listed as a 2bd, there’s really only one true bedroom. The 2nd “bedroom” is actually just a great extension of the living space which runs along the back of the home – it would be perfect for a home office, den, or studio space but doesn’t offer the privacy one would need for guests or children so we’re really talking about a 1bd home here. There is also very little outdoor space so you wouldn’t really have room to expand.

This isn't really a bedroom, but it's still a really great space.

Catch #3 – Needs some repairs/updating. This one is really in the eye of the beholder – some may find charm in the slightly slanted floors patched with plywood in places. Some may not mind the outdated appliances. There’s a door in the bedroom that at some point opened on to an outdoor balcony which no longer exists and now just opens directly into a 10 foot drop. Call it quirky – it’s definitely a unique home which hasn’t been gutted with some boring characterless Home Depot remodel and we’re at least thankful for that.

Catch #5 – This is the big fat bummer catch – this is not really a $319,000 home. At 1,124 square feet this breaks down to a price of $284 per square foot in a zip code where the average price per square foot is $616. That means if this home sold for the average price of other similarly sized homes in the area it would be listed closer to $700,000. Lets be realistic and knock that number down quite a bit given the walk street situation, close proximity to the highway, small lot size, and repairs needed – but that still doesn’t warrant a $400,000 price deduction. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this one and see where it lands after what will surely be multiple offers – regardless of all of the little catches this is still a really unique tree-top home offering vintage charm and character in spades. My bet is it lands somewhere in the mid-500s. What do you think?

“Listing info & photos courtesy of Eddie Kohan.”

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Getting Your Offer Accepted in A Tight Market

You found your dream home! No, seriously, this one is THE ONE. Only problem is there are 20 other people who feel the same way. Here’s a staggering statistic – 98% of California homes sold in 2013 had more than 5 offers. Submitting an offer on a house with multiples can feel daunting but it doesn’t have to – here are 3 top tips to make your offer strong so that it stands out above the rest:

Come in with your financial guns blazing.

Don’t wait until you’ve found your dream home to get your finances in order. All-cash offer? No problem, but make sure your cash is ready and you don’t have to jump through any hoops to pull it out of investments or transfer it to different accounts which may cause delays. If you’re planning on financing make sure to call a Mortgage Broker (it’s quick and free) to see what your options are for a loan – online calculators are a great tool but are no substitute for a real pre-approval letter from a lender. Homes in Los Angeles often get snatched up within a week after hitting the market so make sure you come out of the gates ready to pull the trigger.

Be Realistic.

The most perfect little remodeled bungalow just popped up in the trendiest neighborhood in town. This is not the house to go for if you’re trying to get a deal. This is the house everyone wants. If you want it, you can have it but you have to be ready to play the game. Money talks, and a house like this in a hot market will have multiple offers and go over asking – most likely way over asking, so be prepared to offer accordingly and don’t get hung up trying to “get a deal”. A good rule of thumb in this market is 10% over asking on an average house but if this house is highly coveted it could likely go even higher than that. If you’re looking for something turnkey (remodeled or flipped) it’s a good idea to shop for homes 10-20% under your budget so that you’ll have some wiggle room on your offer when you find one you love. Conversely if you have an artistic vision and don’t mind a home that needs a little TLC there are deals to be had with great square footage in great areas, even in this market.

Write the strongest offer possible & be easy to work with.

If you know you’re up against multiple offers there are a variety of things you can do to make your offer stand out. In general the less contingencies you have, the better because this leads to a faster and more seamless transaction for everyone. Make sure you have a reputable lender (this does not mean a big box bank) and ask them if there’s anything you can do to tighten your terms. Cash is king – if you have the ability to make an all-cash offer that also means you won’t have a loan contingency and can remove the appraisal contingency. But fret not if you’re getting financing and are up against other cash offers – in the end it’s the seller’s choice as to which offer they want but if your financed offer has great terms and is higher than a cash offer you have a fighting chance at getting it accepted. The sellers not only want the highest price they can get for their property, but having a quick and painless transaction is often equally as important so be easy to work with, find out what kind terms they’re looking out for in an offer and try to match those terms as closely as you can. If you truly love the home it doesn’t hurt to write them a letter letting them know a little about yourself, how much you love the home, and why. Just remember, this isn’t a game and you’re not guaranteed a counter just because you threw your hat into the ring. If you know there are multiple offers on a property prepare yourself for coming in strong on your initial offer.

Lastly, remember you win some, you lose some. If you’ve found yourself repeatedly giving your best terms possible and still not getting your offer accepted perhaps it is time to explore other neighborhoods or re-visit your “must-have” list of amenities. The good news is there are incredible homes popping up in areas all over Los Angeles every day and there are certainly many more opportunities around the corner. Good luck and be sure to contact me for useful more tips on finding and getting your dream home!