Friday, April 12, 2019

Best Time to List a Home, According to the NYT

Apparently, April is the best time to list a property. General rule of thumb is Spring & Summer.

The factors considered: "the number of days each property spent on the market; the rate at which properties listed at various times of year sold above or below asking price; the number of online views listings received; the total number of listings at any given time; and the average listing price in each area at various times of year."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Market is Shifting, What to Do, What to Do? + Good DTLA Buys

I'm seeing this more and more--price drops. Some were way overpriced to begin with (some Sellers are still stuck in 2018) and some are just delusional thinking that Buyers don't know what's going on.

But does this mean that Sellers should jump ship? Well, that depends. Prices are still pretty high overall. If you wanted to sell in 2018 but didn't, maybe 2019 is the time to sell. After all, inventory is still very low, and you can still fetch prices higher than any year before last.

Should Sellers hold? If the rental market in your neighborhood is still hot (meaning less than 60 days on the market), and you're able to make some cash or at least break even on your costs by renting out, why now? Let someone else pay for your mortgage and expenses while you move on to possibly buying another property.

Which brings me to the fact that we are in an interesting place in the market where prices are shifting and buyers have more leverage than they did even 6 months ago. Look for deals. Look for properties sitting on the market for more than 60-70 days. Look for negotiation opportunities. Interest rates dropped again recently so take advantage. This is what investors do when the market begins to shift. Because who knows how long this shift will last.

Some very good DTLA buys right now:

629 Traction Ave #224 - Arts District (Red Hot area)

DETAILS: 1240sf, 2 + 2 with rare townhouse style floorplan and bonus 180+sf loft space and 2 parkings spaces! $819k or $660/sf. Building has a pool, gym, 24/7 security, BBQ, outdoor lounge. Super low HOAs of approx $550/mo.

WITHIN 3 BLOCKS OF: Little Tokyo, Hauser Wirth, Grow, Pie Hole, Wurstkuche, Woori Market, Shinola, Salt & Straw, Aliso Village, Inko Nito, Nightshade, Sci Arc, Gold Line, MOCA, Arts District Brewery, Umami, Philip Lim, Woo, Garey Building, Hammer & Spear & so much more.

Library Court
630 W. 6th St - Financial District 
DETAILS: 1180sf, 2 + 2 with open style living/kitchen and 2 parkings spaces! $685k or $580/sf. Building has an outdoor deck, gym, 24/7 security. Super low HOAs of approx $690/mo.

WITHIN 5 BLOCKS OF: Nomad, The Bloc, Pershing Square, Metro Red Line, Fig & 7th, Bottega Louie, Little Sister, Whole Foods, Ralphs, Jewelry District, Wilshire Grand, Target, Nordstrom Rack, Equinox Gym, Philz, Tom George, Fundamental, and more!

Eastern Columbia
849 S. Broadway #M04 - Historic Core

DETAILS: 1500sf, open style bed/living/kitchen flex space, 1 bathroom and 1 parking space. $950k or $633/sf. Building has a rooftop pool, deck, gym, 24/7 security. Mills Act tax savings. HOAs approx $1058/mo.

WITHIN 3 BLOCKS OF: Ace Hotel, Museum Building, Upcoming Apple Store, Mykita, ACNE, Whole Foods, APC, Little Monster, West Elm, Proper Hotel, IL Cafe, Cliftons, Freehand Hotel, Shake Shack, La Tropezienne, Terroni, Wood Spoon, Lala's, Orpheum, United Artists Theater, DTLA Ramen, Shibumi, Soul Cycle & more.

1111 S. Grand #404 - South Park
DETAILS: 1030sf, open style bed/living/kitchen flex space, 1 bathroom and 1 parking space. $583k or $566/sf. Building has a pool, deck, BBQ, gym, 24/7 security. HOAs approx $734/mo.

WITHIN 5 BLOCKS OF: Whole Foods, Staples Center, LA Live, Hotel Figueroa, The Bloc, Restaurant Row, Fig & 7th, Fashion District, Broken Spanish, Expo Line, Ralphs, Starbucks, Prank, Barcito, Cow Cafe, CVS, and more.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Two Chic Historic Rentals on the Market

Eastern Columbia Lofts
1110sf - $3600/mo

Live in one of DTLA's most iconic Art Deco buildings, the Eastern Columbia. This chic southfacing 1110sf live/work loft is one of the few residences in the building with soaring 14-foot ceilings and oversized vintage windows that bring in tons of natural light. The open plan kitchen flows into the bright living area, and a nicely separated bedroom nook has added built-in storage. Concrete floors and exposed ceilings create a true loft living experience. Upgrades include a brand new refrigerator and dishwasher, and additional closets. Designer bath features a huge soaking tub. 1 covered parking space is included! Kelly Wearstler-designed building amenities include a rooftop pool, hot tub, sundeck, plus 24/7 front desk security, gym, drycleaning service, grand lobby lounge and dog run. Located in the Historic Core, you're within blocks from hotspots such as the Ace Hotel, Nomad, Fashion District, Whole Foods, Metro, as Acne, Theory, Mykita, West Elm, upcoming Apple Flagship store & more!

Rowan Lofts
600sf - $2050/mo

Chic character studio at the gorgeous NY-style Rowan Lofts in the heart of the Historic Core. Enjoy the most amazing easterly views from this 9th floor downtown pad that features exposed brick walls, oversized windows, and light hardwood floors. The 600sf unit features an airy open plan layout with tall ceilings that give it a bright and airy feel, and comes with Bosch stainless kitchen appliances, Scavolini kitchen cabinets, and spacious bathroom. There is ample closet space in the bedroom area and a Bosch washer/dryer in the unit. The historic building features amazing details such as restored Carrara marble hallways and amenities such as 24 hour front desk security, outdoor BBQ entertaining area, plunge pools, and an indoor lounge and event space. Within blocks to Whole Foods, Sunday Farmers Market, Grand Central Market, Metro, Pershing Square, Corporation Food Hall, Kazunori, Spring Arcade, Baco Mercat, Continental, Perch, Regent Theater, Blue Bottle and more!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Good News for Investors

Those who own multiple homes and investment properties have some good news coming. With housing prices high and more or less remaining high (even with micro ups and downs), more people will remain renters. Many who have thought of buying will continue to rent longer.  And more renters means more demand for rental housing. Landlords can expect to benefit from this.

A client of mine was planning on selling to buy a larger home. I ran some numbers and it turns out she would have pretty good cash flow on her current home since rents have gone up a lot in her neighborhood. And her property isn't under rent control laws. Her lender has increased her borrowing amount based on this potential income. She is now going to keep this property, rent it out, and buy her larger dream home. This is when real estate gets fun.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

How Not to Give in to a Softening Housing Market

Been a while between posts because it's been busy. The buying and selling activity in most parts of LA has hardly softened. Yes, there are some price drops for properties that trying to gouge. For instance, if you're trying to price a house in Highland Park for $1000/sf, that's going to sit for a while. But price it around $750/sf, then you're right where things should be.

Tips for the new year:

1. If you want to buy a house that is hugely overpriced compared to comps, then go ahead and try a lowball offer. The outright rejection activity isn't happening as much, and you're likely to at least get countered.

2. If you want to sell for over the comps, go ahead, but prepare to do a few things before listing. Such as remodeling a few things. I just sold a house in West Adams for the highest price/sf because I had told the Seller to paint the house in trendy colors. It worked. It looked like a new house, which it wasn't, but it did the trick.

3. If you're budget isn't amazing, then considering a cosmetic fixer. Borrow less, and have more to spend on cosmetic fixes and increase the value.

4. If selling fast is your goal, then price it slightly under comps, and either paint the exterior or interior of the place or change out the bathroom sinks. These are generally inexpensive things that often get you triple your money back in sales price.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Market is Softening, But Inventory is Still Low

Several things have happened in the past few months. It's odd because it's a good time to sell, but it's also weirdly a good time to buy. Some of my thoughts and feedback from clients:

1. Interest rates have gone up. This has affected prices a tad. And yes, I mean only a tad. We're talking 1-3% price shavings from the summer. Meaning, prices are still very good if you're in the market to sell.

2. It's still a Seller's market, mainly because prices are still high and inventory is still low. So is it a good time to sell? Heck yes if you have equity or are needing to unleash.

3. While interest rates are hitting up to 5% depending the lender, I dare say it's still relatively cheap to borrow compared to 20 years ago. Interest rates are slated to go up a bit more in 2019, so that means if you are planning to buy in the next 6-12 months, now is probably a good time.

4. Rents are higher than ever. I can't believe the gorgeous 2+2 unit in a duplex I used to rent in Hancock Park 15 years ago for $1200/mo, is now renting for $4200/mo. That's about a 400% increase. What I mean to say, sadly, is that it's really hard to rent these days with prices so high. If your budget is under 3k, and you don't have a decent downpayment (10-20%) saved up, it's ok to keep renting. If your budget is about 4k, then it's probably better to think of buying something small in an up and coming area and holding on for 3-5 years, and then cashing out on the 100k+ equity you'll gain. Seriously, I believe the market will go up in certain areas while other areas will plateau.

5. Will the market keep going up 5-10% each year like it has since 2010? Likely no for the next 2-3 years. However, 5 years from now, some areas will. These are areas that are in transition, like West Adams, Glassell Park, Montecito Heights, Lincoln Heights, and the Fashion District & Art District in DTLA. There's just room to grow in these areas.

6. At the end of the day, real estate is about security, equity, and leverage, so whether you're selling to make a profit and trade up, or buying to build equity and peace of mind, if it's the right time for you, then that's all that matters.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Immaculate Loft in South Park with In-unit Laundry Room and Parking for Lease

Beautifully maintained loft with upgraded glass partition, stainless and stone kitchen island, upgraded glass shower doors, spacious laundry room, 1 parking space. 960sf provide ample space in this 1 bed, 1 bath South Park gem. Building has 24/7 front desk concierge & security, lush outdoor deck, BBQ, fireplace, and pool.

Asking $2750/mo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Amazing Price on a 2 Bed, 2 Bath Split Level Corner Penthouse Unit in South Park

Rare Corner Penthouse Unit at the luxury 717 Olympic building in the heart of it all. The unit features amazing views from just about every room and bathroom. Spacious upstairs main bedroom with double walk in closets, a spacious ensuite bathroom with separate shower and soaking tub. he bedroom opens onto a beautiful landing that's perfect for an office space or sitting area, and further along is a private terrace that looks out onto the rest of the views beyond. The second bedroom or guest suite is downstairs, complete with two closets as well. An ample laundry room offers extra storage, and an open plan kitchen and living area complete this spectacular home. The building offer 24/7 concierge services, valet parking, plunge pool, fitness center, business center, wine storage, indoor and outdoor lounges, fire pit, outdoor terraces, media room and more.

Asking $8298/mo

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Buying vs Selling in a Changing Market


1. We've reached another height

2. There are talks of plateauing and possibly even microdips in the market

3. You have amazing equity and can upgrade from the starter pad to a forever home

Words of wisdom when selling: Be patient and smart. You will have to have your home in great shape and priced right with a local realtor who knows what's up in the area.


1. Rents are through the roof, and still going up due to high demand and low supply

2. Why pay your landlord's mortgage?

3. Population in LA keeps growing

Words of wisdom when buying: Look at the big picture. Inventory is low, and it's still a seller's market. So bid wisely. Do not nitpick about overbidding 5k here, 5k there. Over a 30 year fixed, that's like $3/mo. And try to be less emotional about the things that can be changed, such as ugly carpets.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

When Is It A Good Time to Sell, When Is It A Good Time to Buy?

Everyone can look back in hindsight and say "I should have bought in the crash." Then why did so many people jump ship and short sell in the crash? It's because everyone has different motivations, different circumstances in their lives.

There's no really right answer unless you know for sure where the market is heading, and if we could all predict the future, all of us would be in the 1%.

The best answer to the question of when to sell or buy is when you can afford to, and it's the right property.

If you can afford a house at what we're calling the "height of the market," then you should be fine. Even if the market dips, you can afford the payments (Please people, get a 30 year fixed and you're mortgage is like rent control for 30 years). Some people have bought at the height, but got some amazing interest rates, so they ended up just as good as other buyers who got locked into a higher interest rate at a slightly lower price.

If you're selling because you need to, or you want to upgrade, or you want to cash out on equity and get a better investment, go for it. We're at new heights so if you're looking to sell, then duh, this is the best time. If you're not needing to sell, there's no real reason why you should, and it's not like you're needing the cash right now, then hold onto it. You can always rent the place out for killer rents--just as prices are high, rents are even higher than ever before.