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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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Conquering the LA Market: 5 Tips for Homebuyers

Pretty much every home on the market right now in LA’s Eastside is getting multiple offers. With a strong economy, good job growth, interest rates near-historical lows, and plenty of cash floating around there are simply more buyers looking for homes than there are sellers looking to sell. This can sound intimidating for buyers but it doesn’t need to be. With a great agent by your side (hi!) you can conquer this market like a champ as long as you’re properly prepared for what’s ahead.

1. Bidding Wars Aren’t Always About the Highest Price

It’s important to remember every home-seller has different needs. There’s no hard & fast rule for what a seller wants; cash isn’t always king and the absolute highest offer doesn’t always get the home. Maybe they’re transferring out of state next week and looking for a buyer who can close quickly with no contingencies. Maybe they need a buyer who will wait for them to find a replacement home before closing or one who will lease the home back to them after closing. All of these bargaining chips are the terms of the offer and are just as important as the price.

The majority of home sellers will accept whatever has the best combination of both price and terms. This means in a situation with multiples that are all at or near the same price a seller will choose the one offering the terms that best suit their needs. Finding out what a seller is looking for and customizing your offer with those terms is our first line of defense to stand out in the crowd. You’d be surprised how many home sales I’ve represented where we’ve gotten dozens of offers but only a few buyer’s agents bothered to call me to find out if my seller had any specific needs. I’ll let you guess which offers usually move to the top of the stack.


2. Competing Against Cash Offers When You Have a Loan

About 1/4 of home sales in Southern California right now are cash. With that stat in mind we can assume if there are multiple offers on the table there’s a good chance at least one is cash. If your offer is being funded with a loan it will inherently include more contingencies and a longer close than someone offering cash, which translates to a seller as more risk. It’s a tough pill to swallow but with 2 similarly-priced offers side-by-side the seller is going to pick the one with the least risk.

If you’re up against cash offers the most obvious way to compensate is by offering a higher purchase price – many sellers are happy to absorb a little more risk if it ultimately means more money in their pockets. It also helps to be as flexible as possible with things like your move-in date and requested repairs. Lastly we’ll work closely with your trusted local lender to get your loan on the fast-track, tightening your loan and appraisal contingencies and even removing them entirely in some cases. Now we’re cookin’!


3. Be Prepared

The Los Angeles market moves at lightening speeds – a character home in an up & coming area may get dozens of offers before the first open house and go off-market in less than a week. It can be overwhelming as a new buyer, but solidifying your finances ahead of time will put you at a huge advantage over the masses which aren’t as prepared. It’s fun to window shop, but there’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing someone fall head-over-heels in love with a home they’ve decided is “the one” and then miss the boat on putting in an offer because they didn’t have their paperwork ready on the back-end.

Before you start browsing listings and visiting open houses you should have a pre-approval letter from a local lender and/or have your cash affairs in order, keeping funds needed for inspections, down payment, and closing costs in mind. If you still need to file taxes for this year or will be borrowing funds from a relative now is the time to explore doing so. Avoid online mortgage calculators – they’re fun but they don’t usually account for your credit score (which affects your interest rate), PMI, local property taxes, homeowners insurance, or a host of other things a real-life loan officer could better assist you with.


4. Be Patient:

I know it’s hard – you’ve got that pre-approval burning a hole in your pocket and rates feel like they’re going up by the hour. Your friend who bought a home last year already has $100k in equity because values are rising so fast. This is so exciting! Do yourself a favor . . . breathe. Our market tends to come in waves – you may not see a home within your price-range in a certain neighborhood for many weeks, then suddenly 5 pop up on the same day. Keep your eyes on the prize, don’t burn yourself out considering homes that aren’t what you really want just because that’s the only thing on the market today. Remember we’re looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now.


5. Be Realistic:

Keep in mind many homes are purposely underpriced to attract multiple offers quickly – don’t let yourself get hung-up chasing the dream of an unbelievably low asking price. Think of the LA real estate market like ebay and think of asking prices simply as starting bids. We’ll discuss your budget and must-haves, pulling comps so you can see what similar homes are currently selling for and what kind of jump to expect in asking price vs selling price. You can trustingly shop with these comps in mind – if recent sales tell us to expect to pay a certain price for a home in a certain neighborhood with a certain level of finishes, that’s what a home will end up selling for regardless of how low it’s been initially priced.

My goal is to arm you with an understanding of the market so you can purchase a home with confidence. While other buyers are getting into an emotional frenzy over their offer on a home that was comically underpriced and subsequently sold $100,000 over their budget, you will be cool as a cucumber because you walked into the situation with realistic expectations. You came in armed with your paperwork and a basic understanding of the home’s value, you tightened your terms wherever you could, and you offered accordingly. Pat yourself on the back, you are a soon-to-be home-owning badass!


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969 Shelly St: A Mountain Retreat in the City

Ok, so maybe Altadena isn’t technically “the city” but it’s only 15 minutes from Downtown LA so as far as statistical drive time in Los Angeles goes this little Spanish character home backdropped by the San Gabriel Mountains isn’t doing too badly.

Sitting in a cul-de-sac on a massive 8,383 square foot lot with lush landscaping, vegetable gardens, and canopied by an oak tree, this 1,346 square foot home features 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, plus an attached bonus den/playroom as well as a garage and separate bonus detached studio/office space. Did I mention the fireplace, hardwood floors, Spanish tile roof, oversized vintage kitchen, and built-ins?

At $529,000 this could be the perfect space for someone who has been priced out of the Eastside but still wanting a warm character home with plenty of square footage on an oversized lot. Click through photos below then call me at 323-989-3839 and let’s go see it in person before it’s gone!

Listing info & images provided courtesy Ted Clark, Deasy/Penner & Partners.