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Summer 2017 Market Update: Homes Under $500k

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 $500,000 get you in Eastside LA and what kind of process should you expect? Read below to find out.

5606 Bushnell Way: This little vintage bungalow is in the Highland Park-adjacent neighborhood of Hermon, also bordered by South Pasadena and Monterey Hills. It could use some updates but with 1,152 sq ft of living space, hardwoods, built-ins, and a small but private backyard it’s a steal at this price. Was asking $525,000 and closed for $480,000.

1086 W. Edgeware Rd: Calling all you tiny home enthusiasts out there! This adorable updated 408 sq ft 1bd, 1ba Spanish Home sits in historic Angelino Heights with easy access to Echo Park Lake, Sunset Blvd, and the 101. The 1,779 sq ft lot is well-situated and feels much larger than it is, plus this home has a deck and a bonus finished basement storage space. Was asking $499,900 and sold for $480,000.

3867 Rosemead Ave: This 832 sq ft mid-century on a massive 9,600 sq ft lot in El Sereno could use some floorplan and surface updates but still has tons of potential. Not to mention Mid-Century homes are still all the rage. Was asking $439,900 and sold for $470,000. Maybe we’ll see it come back on this fall as a flip?

5055 Hub St: Admittedly not the cutest Highland Park house (seriously could they have at least put the shovels away before taking the photos?) and it’s only 650 sq ft but it is relatively updated and in walking distance to all the great stuff on York Blvd. Was originally listed at an ambitious $549,000 and sold for $490,000.

3202 Drew St: This tiny Spanish home sits on a private gated corner lot on the edge of Glassell Park with easy access to Highland Park, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village. The home would be so much better with some simple updates but overall it isn’t bad and having a completely gated property is wonderful. It does sit in a pocket heavy with rentals and multi-family homes and it has a neighborhood mural painted on one side of the exterior fence dedicated to someone who was once murdered on the block. Ouch! Was asking $449,000 and sold for $445,000.

Investors and buyers with plenty of cash resources got some great deals in the first half of this year as well;

  • This 804 sq ft Garvanza gem had tons of potential but needed some updates and heavy reinforcement to the brick foundation, selling under asking price at $500,000
  • This tiny 400 sq ft Echo Park home was sold for land value, closing at it’s asking price of $450,000
  • This home in Montecito Heights had incredible views but was sloping down a steep hill, needing major foundation reinforcement. It sold over asking price, closing for $470,100
  • This Eagle Rock home fronts to a busy street and was being sold for land value only – still it went way over it’s $398,000 asking price, going to a cash buyer for $465,000.

What to expect with a $500,000 budget: This is the hardest price point due to lack of inventory and fierce competition with cash investors and flippers. Many fixers won’t qualify for financing due to their condition so expect to see sellers requesting cash offers and properties listed “as is” with no repairs or credits granted.  At this price a remodeled single family home in a hot hood will likely be around 500 sq ft and a home needing work in a more off-the-radar area will be around 1,000 sq ft. Many homes will have less-than-ideal situations such as highway noise, small lots, or apartment buildings next door.

If you’re an Eastside buyer with a loan and a budget of $500,000 or less you should consider exploring some outlying areas or expand your search to include condos and townhouses. Finding a home for $500,000 or less on the Eastside can be done but it will take time, patience, and an open mind. Contact me today, I’d love to help!

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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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Poolin’ Around

In honor of this weekend’s heat wave, here are some great houses on the market that come with a pool:

1469 Westerly Terrace, Silver Lake – $798,000
1bd, 2ba, 826sf. What this house lacks in square footage it makes up for in character and thoughtful design. 
Listing and photos courtesy of Alyssa Valentine, Nourmand & Associates
4848 Algoma Ave, Eagle Rock – $899,000
3bd, 2ba, 1,650sf. This 1958 Mid-Century Modern home is tucked hillside into a canyon for the ultimate in privacy.
Listing and photos courtesy of Margaret Cashion, Berkshire Hathaway
3310 Division St, Glassell Park – $460,000 
I’ll be the first to admit this 3bd, 1ba, 1,319sf home is obviously more of a fixer than a turnkey opportunity – but with a good location, a pool and a 6,522sf lot this has a lot of potential for someone looking under $500k!
Listing & photos courtesy of Denise Javelera, Deasy/Penner & Partners

Click here to contact me for a personal tour of any of these homes.