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Author Jefferson Hendrick

  • Jefferson Hendrick

 

What’s Goin’ On?

 

Way, way back in October 2010, I did an article about development and revitalization in some well-known spots in and around the West Hollywood area. Sixteen months later, some are under way, some have stalled and some new projects have been approved. This issue I thought we’d take a look at the status of these projects and where they’re headed.

THE OLD

Movietown Plaza
    Originally the Trader Joes that’s there now was set to be razed to make room for a project set to consist of 32,300 square feet of street-front retail space (including a new Trader Joes), 294 market-rate condos and 76 units of affordable senior housing. The project hit a major roadblock late last year after a major falling out between developer Allen Casden and private equity funder Cerberus Capital Management, and was scheduled to go to auction on Dec. 21 of last year. CIM Group, Inc. (the company responsible for Hancock Lofts, Sunset Vine Tower and Hollywood and Highland) was one of several interested bidders. You can tell things have sort of fallen apart by the fact that the website for the project still says “construction is anticipated to begin in 2010.” As it stands now, Trader Joes still stands, and the other merchants that used to be there are long gone.
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A Mid Century Night’s Dream

If you know me, follow my real estate page or read this column, you know I am a huge fan of mid-century modern architecture. And L.A. has no shortage of amazing, architecturally significant examples. ‘Mid-century’ can refer to architecture, design, furniture, etc. It would be impossible to cover very much history in this limited space, but the term is essentially a descriptor used in reference to modern design, architecture and urban development from the mid-1930s until the mid-1960s. The goals of the modern movement were to bring elements of modernism into post-WWII design.

Some characteristics you can expect to see in these homes include lots of windows; simple, clean design; visual representation of horizontal and vertical lines (often including flat rooflines)’ open floor plans designed with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing elements of the outdoors in. Another notable trait was the idea put forth by Louis Sullivan—“form follows function”—meaning that the result of design should derive directly from its purpose.
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East Side Story

In Los Angeles, it seems that when people think about condos, they think about West Hollywood, the Westside or maybe Downtown where there is a large concentration of lofts. If you do consider yourself an East Sider, but feel like you’re more suited to condo living, never fear! There is a thriving condo market in Los Feliz and Silver Lake that tends to fly under the radar. I’ve written before about the pros and cons of single-family homes vs. condos, and there are a lot of well-priced homes in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz area. But not everyone wants the responsibility that comes with maintaining a house. That’s where condos come in. Check out some of what these areas have to offer!


2330 Duane St.

$669,000
2br/3ba in 1,597 sq. ft.
Awesome architectural unit in small complex overlooking the lake. Top floor unit with soaring two-story living room that opens to loft space with bath. Walls of glass, state-of-the-art, designer-done kitchen, inside laundry, rooftop terrace, balconies, pool and spa. Virtual tour at bit.ly/yWP4Dl.

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What Can I Get For $2,000,000 and More?

A million, $750,000, under $500,000—I’ve covered a few price ranges here in the past few months. I thought I was done. I was surprised, though, at the amount of feedback I got asking, “What’s out there for the high-end buyer? What’s hot, and what does that kind of money get you in today’s market?” Wanna talk luxury homes? You don’t have to ask me twice! This issue, let’s cap it at $6 million. Off we go.


Outpost Estates

1841 Outpost Dr.
$2,149,000
5br/3 1/2 ba in 3,688 sq. ft. on a 9,580 sq. ft. lot

Private Spanish compound, remodeled and restored. Wood coffered ceilings, period details, gourmet kitchen, sunken living room, 10-foot ceilings, fireplace, sunroom, lavish pool/spa, wired for sound. Absolutely gorgeous. Check out the full virtual tour at bit.ly/xjyKE1.

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What Can I Get For Under $500,000?

Happy New Year! Now that the holidays are over and we’re all back to the grind, I’m excited to pick up where I left off at the end of 2011 with my “What Can I Get For…?” series. If you recall, my last column before the holidays detailed what you can purchase for under $750,000, and the one before that was what you could purchase for under $1 million.

This week, we tackle the under-$500,000 category. It’s easier than you think, too. A lot of these properties can be purchased with as little as 3.5 percent down payment.


West Hollywood

1318 N. Crescent Heights Blvd. #207
$225,000
1br/1ba in 622 sq. ft. condo

It may not be huge, but it’s super cute, it’s in the middle of everything and it’s yours! Great mid-century building with vintage charm and retro style. Top floor, rear corner unit with great light. Building has a beautiful courtyard, central air, low dues and extra storage space.

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What Can I Get For $750,000?

Last issue, I presented you with six great properties meant to give you a broad idea of what you could buy for $1,000,000 in various areas of Los Angeles. As you could tell, you can do pretty darn well with that kind of money. But what if you’re not quite in that price range? What if you top out at, say, $750,000? Well, let’s go for a spin and see what that’ll get you. Like I said last time, let’s assume that everything’s at least somewhat negotiable! Read more…

What Can I Get For $1,000,000?

Let’s say you’re in the market for a home. You’ve done all your homework, you’ve gotten yourself pre-approved with a reputable lender and now you’re ready to search for a home. As we all know, there are certain parts of the city that sell for quite a premium based on location. Your money is not going to get you the same thing in West Hollywood as it will in Eagle Rock or Sherman Oaks. So what exactly will your money get you? This week, let’s look at what you can get for your million dollars (give or take, and hey—everything’s negotiable). Read more…

We Didn’t Get The House We Wanted, So What Now?

I’ve been selling real estate for almost nine years now. I’ve seen an insanely hot market and I’ve seen, well, the opposite of an insanely hot market. And I’ve seen some in-between (kinda where we are now). When I first got into the business, things were really starting to take off into the stratosphere in terms of sheer nuttiness. Agents were writing offers on the hoods of their cars during open houses. There were almost always multiple offers on houses, with bidding going well over the asking price. Read more…

Get Pre-Approved Before You Start Looking At Homes!

“Whoa there … slow your roll,” I have to tell them. “We don’t know how much you can afford yet.” Often, they have a good idea, which sometimes is fairly accurate, other times not so much.  Read more…

Increasing Your Purchasing Power!

Usually when I meet a new buyer, they are looking to purchase either a single-family home or a condo. Often though, depending on the circumstances, there is a third option they may not be thinking about. Have you considered a duplex? You heard me—a duplex. There are several different ways of measuring the benefits of buying multi-unit property. Read more…

Get Off the Fence!

For pretty much as long as I’ve been a Realtor, which is since 2004, all I’ve ever heard is how unbelievably low interest rates are. “Historic lows!” “Never been this low before!” “Buy now or risk sharp increases!” And while it is true that they were indeed at historic lows, no one was really anticipating the impending financial meltdown and foreclosure crisis that has dragged the housing market down over the past three years or so. And with those factors, though it’s hard to believe, interest rates have continued to come down even further, to the point where it hasn’t been this cheap to borrow money for a mortgage in over 50 years! Read more…

What Are Contingencies?

Anytime you enter into a real estate transaction, you will inevitably have any number of inspections done during the escrow process, as well as get your loan in order and have an appraisal done on the property. Contingency periods are the time frames during which you are expected to get these things done in order to move on to closing the sale. The beauty of contingencies is that in most situations, they are your out should the deal start to go south for you, or if your lender is not able to get your loan approved. Read more…

Say Goodbye to Jons WeHo; New Apartments Rising on Kings Road

Way back in October of last year, I reported that the Jons Market at La Brea and Fountain was to be demolished to make way for a new development of apartments by developer Monarch Group. In August 2010, the West Hollywood Planning Commission gave the ‘all clear’ for a six-story, 187-unit apartment building with 19,559 square feet of retail space at street level (according to Monarch’s website). Read more…

Great News Regarding Short Sellers; FSBO A No-Go

Homeowners who are considering short sales got some good news this month, when it was announced that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law SB 458. When a seller goes through with a short sale, the bank holding the note agrees to allow the home to be sold at market value, even if that amount is less than is owed on the home. Prior to SB 458, the holder of the first mortgage could accept the sale price as payment in full for the loan amount. If, however, there was a second loan on the property, as is often the case, the holder of the second loan could go after the seller for the amount owed on the loan later, and it could be considered debt. Read more…

When Should I Reduce My Asking Price?

Pricing a home properly for sale can be a tricky proposition, especially in this market. Back when I first began selling real estate in early 2004, if a home didn’t blow out in the first week or two, it was assumed that something was wrong with it. I mean, this was a time when agents were writing offers on the hoods of their cars during open houses. Nothing stayed on the market long. Read more…

Why a Buyer’s Agent? Spoiler Alert: It’s Free!

I was making some calls last week to my database of clients, asking for referrals. In this business of real estate, it’s ideal that most of your business comes from referrals from friends, past clients, etc., and I find that happy clients actually love to refer their friends to you. Win/win! Anyway, during the course of one of my calls, my client told me he has a friend who was looking to buy, but he was looking on his own right now, he was writing offers through the listing agent and he was still missing out on properties that sold before he even knew about them. Read more…

‘But It’s the First House We’ve Seen!’

I’m going to tell you a story, but know that it makes my poor little heart hurt to relive it. About four months ago, I began working with a new buyer. This buyer had been referred to me by a past client with whom I have a great relationship. I had this buyer in my office for a buyer consultation. During these meetings, I like to really dig in and get to the nitty gritty of what they’re looking for. What’s their motivation in buying? What are their real needs versus their wants? How long do they plan to be in this residence? I really try to find out what exactly animates this buyer and makes them tick so that I can get a feel for what kind of house is going to make them all hot and tingly. Read more…

Keeping the Sale Alive

Selling your home is never really a picnic, even under the best of circumstances. But over the past few years, in this, shall we say, “difficult” market we’ve experienced, selling a home can be a nightmare of epic proportions. It’s tough out there, there is a lot of competition depending on what area you’re talking about, and buyers are walking around with money in their pockets and often want perfection in exchange for it. Whenever I take on a new listing, I like to prepare my clients for what lies ahead, especially if they are a first-time seller. There are several stages of a sale that have to go smoothly in order to actually get that transaction closed, and speedbumps in any of them can torpedo a deal if not handled properly. Read more…

If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now!

The West Hollywood real estate market seems to surprise a lot of people that I speak to. Some prospective buyers are surprised at how high prices can go, some at just how little you can get into the market for. Whether you’re looking for a high-end, totally done four-bedroom house or a small condo that won’t break the bank—but still right in the heart of WeHo—there’s something for everyone on the market right now. Prices are still great, interest rates are still low and the inventory is there. Right now there are 45 single-family homes for sale in West Hollywood, with an average price of $1,094,000. There are also 174 condominiums, with an average list price of about $570,000. Here are a few prime examples of the variety of properties on the market now. Read more…

Upside Down??

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ve read about short sales and the short sale process here before. Mostly, though, it’s been from the perspective of a potential buyer. I get a lot of questions from homeowners who are considering short selling their own home but know very little about the process. This isn’t surprising, as there’s a lot to know, and it’s not something most people want to think about everyday. Read more…

Cash is King—or is it?

I work with a lot of first-time homebuyers, and from time to time we’ll identify a home that they want to make an offer on that is either bank-owned or a short sale. Either way, you’re ultimately dealing with a bank, and they’re the ones calling the shots. Many times these properties are very well-priced, which naturally generates a great deal of interest—especially if it is a “fixer” with the potential for upside once it’s remodeled. More often that not, though, when there is an all-cash offer in the mix, it can be very, very difficult to compete. Usually a bank is more interested in the quickest, surest thing, even if it means accepting a slightly lower offer. Getting the house off their books is the main goal. Read more…

What the #*&$ is a Homeowners Association?

I’ve been selling real estate for almost eight years now, so it’s easy to forget that terms I use literally several times a day might be completely foreign to a real estate first-timer. I had a meeting the other day with a buyer who is dipping his pinky toe into the real estate waters for the first time. He’s able to spend just over a million dollars, but is uncertain whether he wants a house or a condo. Obviously there are pros and cons to each, depending on whether one is up for the responsibilities and expenses that come with owning your own house, or whether one prefers the convenience and more maintenance-free lifestyle a condominium offers. Read more…

Dealing with the Foreclosure Market

By now, anyone who even remotely follows the real estate market knows that foreclosures have been a major part of daily real estate vernacular for years now, and that’s likely to remain the case for at least another year, maybe more. While it’s not great for sellers, it is great for buyers. The affordability index for buyers is the highest it’s been in years, and many who sat out the real estate gold rush of a few years ago are now taking advantage of the vast amount of short sales, foreclosures and just plain well-priced homes hitting the market. Read more…

Staged to Sell

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How Long is Too Long??

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