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LA Digs - Northeast LA Real Estate Blog

Welcome to LA Digs, the real estate and Northeast Los Angeles community blog written by Realtors Tracy King and Keely Myres.

Here, we share tips, market updates, and local news bits to keep you informed on what's happening in Northeast Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read on to learn about the latest in your neighborhood!

Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer This Spring

homebuyers1

Though there are more homes for sale now than there were at this time last year, there’s still an undersupply with fewer houses available than in more normal, pre-pandemic years. The Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com puts it this way: 

“While the number of homes for sale is increasing, it is still 43.2% lower than it was before the pandemic in 2017 to 2019. This means that there are still fewer homes available to buy on a typical day than there were a few years ago.”

The current housing shortage has an impact on how you search for a home this spring. With limited options on the market, buyers who consider what’s a necessity versus what’s a nice-to-have will be more successful in their home search.

The first step? Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval helps you better understand what you can borrow for your home loan, and that plays an important role in how you’ll put your list together. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s out of reach. Once you have a good grasp on your budget, the best way to prioritize all the features you want and need in a home is to put together a list.

Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle.
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender.
  • Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner.

Finally, once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your real estate agent. They’ll be able to help you refine the list further, coach you through the best ways to stick to it and find a home in your area that meets your needs.

Bottom Line

Prioritizing what you need in a home is a critical first step in the buying process. If you’re ready to find the one that’s best for you, let’s connect.

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An Expert Gives You Clarity in Today’s Housing Market

The housing market has been going through shifts lately. That’s why it’s so important to work with an industry professional who can be your guide throughout the process.

A real estate expert uses their knowledge of what’s really happening with home prices, housing supply, expert projections, and more to give you the best advice. Someone who can provide clarity like that is critical right now. Jay Thompson, Real Estate Industry Consultant, explains:

“Housing market headlines are everywhere. Many are quite sensational, ending with exclamation points or predicting impending doom for the industry. Clickbait, the sensationalizing of headlines and content, has been an issue since the dawn of the internet, and housing news is not immune to it.”

Unfortunately, when information in the media isn’t clear, it can generate a lot of fear and uncertainty in the market. As Jason Lewris, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer at Parclsays:

“In the absence of trustworthy, up-to-date information, real estate decisions are increasingly being driven by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Buying a home is a big decision, and it should be one you feel confident making. You can lean on an expert to help you separate fact from fiction and get the answers you need.

The right agent can help you understand what’s happening at the national and local levels, and they can debunk headlines using data you can trust. Experts have in-depth knowledge of the industry and can provide context, so you know how current trends compare to the normal ebbs and flows in the industry, historical data, and more.

Then, to make sure you have the full picture, an agent can tell you if your local area is following the national trend or if they’re seeing something different in your market. Together, you can use all that information to make the best possible decision.

After all, making a move is a potentially life-changing milestone. It should be something you feel ready for and excited about. And that’s where a trusted expert comes in.

Bottom Line

For expert advice and the latest housing market insights, let’s connect.

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Meet Keely: Your Expert Guide to Real Estate in Northeast Los Angeles

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Hello there, neighbor (or future neighbor)!

My name is Keely, and I'm a real estate agent specializing in the beautiful neighborhoods of Northeast Los Angeles. I've been living and working in this community forever - I was born and raised right here in Eagle Rock - and I couldn't be more excited to share my love and expertise for this area with you.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm an old-home lover, give me character and original details all day long! I live with my husband, son, and rescue pup in a 1959 Better Homes and Garden kit house that still has original atomic mushroom tile in the kitchen. When I’m not obsessing about houses, I’m planning my next adventure around the world or getting concert tickets. I am a second-generation Realtor and got my real estate license in 2007 (yep, right as the market tanked!) and I'm passionate about helping people find their dream home in this amazing part of Los Angeles. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, I'm here to guide you through the process with humor, diligence, and expertise.

One of the things I love most about Northeast LA is its diverse and vibrant community. From the quirky shops and eateries on Colorado and York Boulevards to the stunning natural beauty of Debs Park, there's something for everyone here. And as a real estate agent who's deeply invested in this community, I'm here to help you not only find your perfect home but also discover everything that makes Northeast LA such a special place to live.

Stay tuned for more blog posts from me, where I'll share insider tips, local news, and fun stories about life in Northeast LA. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you soon!

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Real Estate Market Update First Quarter 2021

Let's take a look at the numbers comparing the real estate activity in the first quarter of 2021 to the same time period in 2019 and 2020.

 First Quarter
Year Over Year

 Eagle Rock 90041  Highland Park 90042 Glassell Park/
Mt Washington 90065 
El Sereno. 90032 Altadena 91001  South Pasadena 91030

2019

#Sold/

Av List $/

Av Sold $

 

52

973K

1,003K

 
 

81

859K

880K

 

90

901K

921K

 

66

641K

636K

 

102

989K

1000K

 
 

38

1333K

1362K

2020

#Sold/

Av List $/

Av Sold $

 

52

984K

1010K

 

 

84

890K

916K

 
 

56

871K

893K

 

43

671K

682K

 

 

89

949K

962K

 

 

29

1546K

1612K

 
 
2021

#Sold/

Av List $/

Av Sold $

 

103

1150K

1233K

 

 

189

995K

1036K

 

 

169

1026K

1061K

 

 

124

774K

777K

 

 

189

1197K

1202K

 

 

78

1,810K

1,737K

 

What does all this mean?  You can interpret these numbers different ways, but the basic truth would seem to be across the board that prices are going up!  That’s surprising as all you read about the economy says that we can’t sustain these prices.  Many of us wonder where these people are getting the money to pay these prices.  Prices went up in 2020, too, even though Altadena’s average sales price didn’t.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the ones who made offers on some of the houses in Altadena, and found that they were competing with as many as 50 offers didn’t think that the market was slowing down.  In other words, well-priced, well prepared houses did well.  Those owners who over-priced their homes or didn’t see why they should make their home attractive to a buyer didn’t do as well. And that’s in every market. There is a lot of thought and experience that goes into pricing and marketing for higher sales prices even though it looks like you can put any price you want on a house and you’ll get it.  

Low interest rates were credited with much of the activity.  Interest rates have increased lately, but mostly to 2019 levels, still under 4%.  Still low by historic levels. And the numbers of houses sold has doubled since 2019 levels, so current interest rates are not affecting number of sales or average sales prices in the first third of 2021. Will it continue?  I wish I knew because I could make much more money if I did, and you could, too. But as they say, my crystal ball is in the shop now.

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Our Local Market Continues to Heat Up Through the Summer

We are looking at both July and August for this article (see previous months in my last market update). Comparing the two months to last year at the same time gets even more interesting. Only Altadena has a lower average sales price and fewer sales this year over last, and just in August, not July. And that’s contrary to my impression of Altadena sales because it seemed like those sales were going higher and higher. That’s why we compare these things over time. One month doesn’t a market make.

In general, waiting for recessionary price reductions is counter-productive: prices are trending up and sales volume is generally up. I credit the low interest rates that seem to be lasting at least through the end of the year, according to the Federal Reserve (which doesn’t really speak to mortgage rates but it does influence them). 

The trick is qualifying for a loan either to buy or refinance a home loan.  If you are lucky enough to still be working you can lock in rates at their lowest ever!  Even South Pasadena is up in both volume and price after a disappointing May and June, when we usually see the robust result of the spring buying season.

If you’ve figured out where you can live cheaper and work from home, now is a really good time to sell.  And who wouldn’t like to lock in a sub 3.0% interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage!?

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