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

In this series we’re taking a look at homes sold at various price points in the second half of 2017. Inventory remains low and bidding wars the norm so we’ll be focusing on selling price rather than asking price. What will a budget between $700,000 and $800,000 buy you on LA’s Eastside (and beyond)? Read below to find out:

669 Romulo St

669 Romulo St
2bd, 1ba, 963 sq ft on a 4,945 sq ft lot in Cypress Park
Asking $599,000 – Sold for $760,000

Let’s start by saying the photos for this home truly don’t do it justice. The minute I set foot into this magical place I knew it would be setting a sales record for Cypress Park. Small in size but big in character and warmth – the inside of this home looked like an Anthropologie catalog. Yes some of that was the staging but more than anything it was the wood floors, the Spanish fireplace, the vintage tiled bathroom with it’s separate tub and shower, and the sun beaming through the oversized picture window. Sigh.
What’s the catch? This is still an up-and-coming area but slated to be one of the hottest real estate markets in LA in the coming year. The backyard was terraced and not as useable as a flat backyard. And as a buyer you’d have to wrap your head around knowing you’re paying more than anyone ever has in this pocket.

1100 Montecito Dr

1100 Montecito Dr
2bd, 1ba, 1,071 sq ft on a 7,004 sq ft lot in Montecito Heights
Asking $639,000 – Sold for $705,000

This iconic mid-century is one of the original 39 homes in Montecito Heights and one of only 23 remaining. A home on stilts isn’t for the faint of heart but this type of architecture is quintessential LA.
What’s the catch? The only useable outdoor space is decks protruding from the home + a small flat paved patio on the side.

4416 Maycrest Ave
3bd, 2ba, 1,702 sq ft on a 7,504 sq ft lot in El Sereno
Asking $747,000 – Closed for $785,000

Wow El Sereno is bringing some serious A-game with this renovated 1917 Craftsman. That original built-in conversation nook with the fireplace? The leaded glass? The tiled bathrooms? The original thin slat hardwoods? The built ins? The casement windows? The coffered ceilings? Seriously GTF out. of. here.
What’s the catch? You’ll get 90s nightclub vibes every time you shower unless you can figure out how to turn off those oddly-placed glowing blue LED lights coming from the shower head.

3160 Verdugo Pl
2bd, 1ba, 820 sq ft on a 7,160 sq ft lot in Glassell Park
Asking $675,000 – Sold for $757,500

It’s worth noting that this same property in the same condition sold in January 2016 for $610,000. A $150,000 appreciation in less than 2 years with no change in finishes is pretty epic and is a great indication of the direction this pocket is going. This home has a shared driveway or a million steps up from the street but once you’re up there are spectacular views from every room indoors and out.
What’s the catch? All of the yard is what you see in front and on the side – maybe room to garden but not much more but this is pretty typical of a hillside home with incredible views.

3901 2nd Ave
3bd, 4ba, 1,801 sq ft on a 6,500 sq ft lot in Leimert Park
Asking $749,777 – Sold for $780,000

This large 1934 Spanish home in Leimert Park has been remodeled inside and out with refinished hardwoods (the cool old-school thin slatted kind you never see anymore), a fireplace, French doors, vaulted ceilings, and a nice new deck. They seem to have lost their way on the sparse landscaping but all is forgiven for the bold color choice and Spanish tiles in front.
What’s the catch? You’re going to have to figure out something better for that dirt front yard.

2623 Kent St

2623 Kent St
3bd, 2ba, 1,182 sq ft on a 2,124 sq ft lot in Silver Lake
Asking $649,000 – Sold for $790,000

Clearly someone struck gold with a sale on granite tiles and went to town in that kitchen. And it should be noted that on assessor’s records this home is only 672 sq ft, meaning they probably converted the attic to a second floor without permits. Overwhelming granite and unpermitted space aside, this is great square footage and charm for this price in a walkable part of Silver Lake.
What’s the catch? The only outdoor space is a small patio in the back, but hey that’s just less you need to worry about maintaining.

What to expect with a $700,000 – $800,000 budget: This price point is one of the most competitive in Los Angeles, with almost every home on the market going well above asking price so shopping around $100,000 under your max budget is a safe bet for bidding war and closing cost wiggle room. Much like the surrounding price points you can get a more finished home or more square footage by going further into the outlying areas. This budget should get you around 600 – 1,000 sq ft of remodeled home or 800 – 1,200 sq ft of cosmetic fixer in trendy pockets of the Eastside like Highland Park and 1,500 – 2,000 sq ft remodeled home or 1,800 – 2,200 sq ft of cosmetic fixer in up-and-coming areas like El Sereno. 

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SOLD: 2432 Arthur St in Glassell Park

2432 Arthur St Glassell Park

Congrats to my first-time buyer who scored this sweet 2bd/1ba Spanish fixer at 2432 Arthur St in Glassell Park for $600,000! This home has so much potential with its original hardwood floors, large windows, built-ins, and barrell ceilings – it’s no wonder it received 6 offers within its first 3 days on the market.

The location is prime – she’ll have hillside sunset views from the master bedroom and backyard plus she’ll be a short jaunt over to Division 3, Habitat, Lemon Poppy Kitchen, Verdugo Bar, and the Glassell Park pool. Best of all, it has the most coveted feature of 2017; a bonus basement conversion into a 1bd/1ba apartment that can either be used with it’s own private entrance (ideal for short-term rental income) or incorporated into the rest of the home via a staircase from the living room, almost doubling the 900 sq ft assessed square footage.

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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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SOLD: 1406 E. Mountain St in Glendale

Congratulations to Glendale’s newest homeowners Nate, Perrine, Julia, Elsa, and Charlotte!

Nate & Perrine’s Wishlist:

  • Glendale. Specifically Rossmoyne. Specifically the Rossmoyne Historic District and more specifically something walkable to Nibley Park.
  • A character home: Ideally a Spanish-style home, but definitely something with hardwood floors and character accents like wood moulding and coved ceilings.
  • 3 bedrooms: 2 bedrooms and a bonus room were a consideration, but with twins having 3 or more bedrooms would be ideal
  • Something needing a little work is ok. No major fixers but a home needing some kitchen/bath updates or some “weekend project” level updates is ok

Our first hurdle was timing; we started looking in the fall when inventory in Glendale was pretty low followed by the notoriously quiet holidays. Glendale has great schools and subsequently plenty of families with kids who aren’t looking to make any big moves after the school year begins. Thankfully Nate & Perrine were understanding and patient from the start, knowing that this search might take a minute and willing to wait if needed.

Finding a character home in Glendale is no problem. Especially Rossmoyne, which is almost exclusively gorgeous old Spanish style homes. The problem wasn’t finding a character home – it was finding one that was for sale then finding one for sale under 1 million. Families (rightfully) hold on to these homes for many generations, so as you can imagine when one hits the market it’s usually snatched up for a high price at lightning speed, often to a cash buyer with few to no contingencies.

This one was a challenge and I couldn’t be more grateful for Nate & Perrine’s patience and understanding as we consistently found ourselves outbid by cash buyers. They were putting in generous offers on homes that were technically too small for them but they were so desperate to get into something they wanted to give it a shot – and even then getting outbid by cash buyers.

The day 1406 E. Mountain St came on the market we all saw the listing and frantically texted eachother at the same time. I think this could be the one! It was perfect – it’s big with lots of character, it needed work but not too much work, and it’s walkable to Nibley Park. I went to every open house to make sure the listing agent knew us and would recognize Nate & Perrine’s names when they came attached to the offer. I texted him obsessively checking in daily (sorry about that Albert!). They wrote a love letter to the seller, offered significantly over asking, and were outbid by a cash buyer. Again.

But this story has a happy ending, because as you can see in the photo above there they are standing in front of their beautiful Rossmoyne Historic District home! Their offer didn’t initially get accepted but it did get them into backup position #1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – 1/3 of homes fell out of escrow in the past year in Los Angeles. BACKUP POSITION IS AN AWESOME PLACE TO BE.  Turns out the original cash buyer never sent their deposit and the escrow rolled over to Nate & Perrine just a few days later. That was the best phone call I’ve made this year – I love a happy ending. Congrats again Nate, Perrine, Julia, Elsa, and Charlotte!