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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!

What’s on the Market in Eagle Rock Today?

There are 25 active listings today, October 7, 2009, priced from $129,000 for a gutted fixer that requires a cash offer to $825,000 for a 4 bedroom home with a pool located above Hill Drive. Most of these properties have been on the market over 2 weeks, some over 6 months. The field is open for a well-price home that is in decent condition in a good location, folks. Call me…

Active Listings from MLS for Eagle Rock, 90041

Active Listings from MLS for Eagle Rock, 90041

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1576 Hits

Market Update for Eagle Rock and Highland Park

Market Update for Eagle Rock, 90041 and Highland Park, 90042

If you are looking today for property to buy in our little corner of Los Angeles, you knowthe pickings are getting pretty slim. What's going on? The light finally switched on for those who qualify for the first time buyer tax credit and it shone on the November 30 deadline looming ahead. Whoops! If escrows take 30-60 days to close, it's time! Well, folks, the sellers are not interested in your tax credit. They are beginning to have hopes that prices will go up. The inventory has dropped, prices appear to be firming up a bit, and there is nothing much to buy. In the last couple of weeks, many of the relatively inexpensive properties have gone into escrow.

Many fence-sitting buyers are still convinced that the floodgates are about to open and foreclosures are going to be dumped on the market. We all have been talking down the intelligence of the banks and the people who work in them, but actually a few of them have some sense. My theory is that the banks are going to feed these cheap foreclosures out to us a bit at a time and let them get snapped up with all-cash-over-asking-price bids clear into the recovery. And we are seeing some recovery.

Look at this graph showing sales over the last 4 years through August 09 in Eagle Rock (90041)

Eagle Rock 2005-2009

Eagle Rock 2005-2009

The Average Sold Price for 8/09 was $429,000 (14 sold) and the average for 9/09 was $573,000 (7 sold. Thanks in part to my $1.1 million sale). And for Highland Park (90042):<

Highland Park

Highland Park

The average price for Highland Park in 8/09 was $319,000 (14 sold) and 9/09 was 306,000 (32 sold).

The bottom feeders have sucked up the debris here. What to do? Be patient, don't have your heart set on the tax credit, and really get your priorities in order about buying property. And, hey, sellers! Call me! I have some good buyers!

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Back on the Market Deal!

This 2-on-a-lot is tenant occupied and impossible to show, but make an offer subject to inspection and get yourself a deal!

Call me, 626-844-2256.

1317 Hepner Ave Los Angeles, CA 90041


Price: $289,900
Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,522
$/Sq. Ft.: $190
Lot Size: 6,976 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Multi-Family
Style: See Remarks
Year Built: 1950
Area: Eagle Rock
County: Los Angeles
MLS#: 12121088
Source: i-Tech MLS
Status: Active
On Redfin: 41 days
House back on the market. Fell out of escrow at no fault of seller due to buyer not succefully acquiring financing. TWO HOUSES on 1 LOT under 300K in TRENDY Eagle Rock 90041! Front 2bd 1 ba unit tenant occupied paying $1000.00 per mo in a RENT CONTROLLED AREA. Rear 1 bd 1 ba unit VACANT and can be seen.
Listing Price Information
Lot Information
Multi-Family Information
  • # of Units: 2
  • Rent Control: Rent Control
  • Type of Business: Residential 2-4 Units
  • Lot Square Footage: 6976
  • APN: 5480021019
  • Lot Size Source: Assessor
  • Original Price: $289,900
  • Search Price: $289,900
  • Price Per Acre: $1,811,875
Bathroom Information
Location Information
Financial Information
  • Terms: Cash
  • Terms: Cash to New Loan
  • Terms: Real Estate Owned
  • Cross Street Address: Wiota St
  • Map Book: Thomas Guide
  • Map Page: 565
  • Map X Coordinate: C
  • Map Y Coordinate: 7
  • # of Baths (Full): 2
Building Information
Property Information
  • Land: Fee
  • Property Disclaimer: Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.
  • Square Footage Source: Assessor
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1274 Hits

Eagle Rock Real Estate Report

Eagle Rock Real Estate Report February 13, 2009

What's the story with short sales? (Again, a short sale is where the owner owes more to the bank than they can get for the property, so they can't sell unless the lender agrees to take less).  Are they working out for people?  In Eagle Rock, 17 of the 47 active listings are short sales, 7 of the 22 properties in escrow are short sales, and 1 of the 9 closed sales so far this year was a short sale. So the percentage of each goes from 36% of the actives to 32% of the pendings to 11% of the solds are short sales.

Contrast that with foreclosures: 7 of the 47 active listings, 9 of the 22 pending, and 5 of the 9 closed sales are REO. The percentage goes like this: 15% of the actives, 41% of the pending, and 55% of the closed are bank-owned.

So there are a number of short sales that try to close escrow, few that actually do. On the other hand, foreclosures are selling like hotcakes. And, though it's a very small sample, two-thirds of the closed sales in Eagle Rock so far this year, 2009, were distress sales, which is almost as high a number as in Highland Park (see my February 7 blog). And actually, one of the "regular" sales was a trust sale, so that reduces the "normal" number even more.

My view is that the short sales you see clogging up the active listing inventory are confusing the general buyer public. You see these artificially low-priced homes, like the one at 4911 Townsend listed for $250,000, and everyone thinks they are going to get a deal. Well, let's follow that one and see how it pans out. It will be a learning experience for us all. My prediction: if it ever sells as a short sale, it won't sell for $250,000, it will be more, because the house is too big to sell for that little, even though it needs a lot of work. It will get bid up to a higher price. Will the bank approve that price? Or will it eventually go to foreclosure? Let's watch that one and find out.

**UPDATE** Today (November 14, 2010) I looked up the MLS record on 4911 Townsend to see what did ever happen to that property, and the answer is... nothing!  It expired on the MLS July 29, 2009, which means that it either did not sell and the seller decided to keep making payments, or the listing agent never updated the listing.  Looking up the property in the title records I see that it hasn't changed hands since 2006, so I'm assuming the lender did not give short sale approval and so the seller has kept making his payments and kept the house.

Here is an example of what pricing right will do: I saw 5420 Mt. Helena, which came on the market at $559,000 with a list date of 2/6/09 and by 2/10/09, the listing agent told me it had received 4 offers and was now in escrow. It was a trust sale and the family just wanted it sold. I'll bet that one sold for more than its list price as well, because you cannot underprice a home, even in this price-conscious market. If it looks like a deal, more than one buyer will think so.

Of course we all want a deal, we don't want to pay more than something is worth, especially in today's market. Which gets us into the whole discussion of value, of what is a fair market price? Is the price today the same price it will be worth in a month? If the buyer and seller can't agree on a number today, then we don't have a sale. What will the property be worth in two months? Is the market going up or down? If you are overpriced today, what does that make you in two months if you still have't sold? Or is it just that the right person hasn't come along?

It's not simple buying real estate today, is it? Unless you just want to buy a home, need to move, find a place you can afford, and buy it. Oh, that sounds simple. Why is all the rest going on?

And that's why we have the whole real estate industry, my friends. What should be a simple transaction is full of so many questions to be answered.

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Monday Morning Eagle Rock Real Estate Report February 2, 2009

The Eagle Rock

The Eagle Rock

Good morning! Good week! Starting off February, there are 47 single family homes showing as active on the market in the 90041 zip code, with 15 of them declaring themselves as short sales, and 7 as REO, or Real Estate Owned, which means foreclosure. So, almost one third of what is on the market is subject to lender approval, with another 15% bank-owned, which leaves us with 53% of what is on the market today as "normal" sales. In truth, several more of the "normal" sales are under duress. What does this mean?

1. A short sale is a swamp sale, by and large. By that I mean trying to do one is like slogging through a swamp, where your most likely result is that you'll get mired in mud, maybe even quicksand, and you'll come away with a peculiar rotten smell that's hard to wash off. It is subject to lender approval, which means that you make your offer to the seller, his agent in turn submits it to the bank. You might even open escrow. Then you wait, your agent calls daily, time passes as you think that any day now your sale will be approved and you'll buy this house. Unbeknownst to you, the listing agent is still taking offers and submitting them to the bank. Some poor clerk who makes minimum wage and who couldn't care less that you are salivating over your great deal is buried under a mountain of these and decides to take a few sick days. So many times, the offers trickle in until the property goes to foreclosure sale, the listing agent is out of luck (but many times won't admit it), and some time later the property shows up sold to someone else. Some person who is related to some officer of the bank. (Oh how cynical of me!) Basically, most short sales are a fiction and they clutter up our inventory with what look like great deals and they just aren't, they are no deals at all. My research shows maybe 1 in 20 have been going through, though that number is increasing as the economy has worsened. If you are incredibly persistent, you might end up with something. But don't think you're going to get it at that bargain basement price you saw on the MLS.

2. Foreclosures are almost as hard to do. Strange how the really good deals come on sold or you can't get an answer for days and then it comes up sold, or other frustrating scenarios. In truth, most REO listing agents get piles of offers, have lots of listings and do not behave like human being Realtors like me. They seem to wait for the highest offer to come in, counter that one, and open escrow. Sometimes that one doesn't work out and it goes back on the market and the same system goes on again. They don't take backups, they don't return phone calls, they don't care about you and your offer.

If you are a buyer and you want to buy a home to live in - you know, like a regular person who just wants to buy in this great market, you will find that the ones that are actually for sale that you can actually negotiate for and purchase number maybe 15 to 20 out of that 47 on the market. And the ones in your actual price range number maybe 3 or 4 at best. But you see these 47, priced from $240,000 to $899,000, and you think there are all these deals and there will be more, and you listen to all your friends that the market will drop another 20-50%, and you are stymied. Do you want to buy a house or do you want to sit on the sidelines?

An interesting exercise would be to look at what sold in the last month and see if you would have bought those deals. Would you be interested in a blog post about that?

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Monday's Deal of the Day

I have a new listing at 4823 Brayton Place, Eagle Rock, 90041. Listed for $499,000, this is a 1985 built, 3 bedroom, 2 full bath home with a separate studio over the garage and a bonus finished space under the main house. There is deferred maintenance, lots of steps, and good bones. Located on a cul-de-sac just across from the Eagle Rock Community Garden at Lanark Park, this is a huge opportunity for the buyer on a limited budget to buy into Eagle Rock and have a good amount of space for under $500,000. There are tree-top views, a huge deck great for entertaining, a secluded location, and easy access to everywhere. You are just over the Pasadena border, close to Eagle Rock's post office, the Eagle Rock Scenic Hiking Trail and the Neutra-designed Eagle Rock Recreation Center. We're holding this open on Tuesday, November 4, from 9:30-1, and the sellers do not want weekend open houses, so hurry on by, then go vote.

Listed for $499,000

Listed for $499,000

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Tracy's Micro Market Report for Friday

Pasadena, CA:


Constant readers know I am the King of Eagle Rock, but my real estate license is good in the state of California, and I have sold a lot of real estate all over Northeast Los Angeles and the western end of the San Gabriel Valley including Altadena and Pasadena in my 18 years as a Realtor.

Last week, I co-listed a terrific property at 3150 San Pasqual Street, Pasadena, for $1,875,000. We priced this to sell, not to market. We had 121 Realtors attend the Broker's Caravan last Thursday and 112 people attended the public open house last Sunday. We were given an excellent offer and after a bit of negotiation came to a mutually acceptable agreement by the end of the open house.

Wow, this sounds like the activity of the good old days, doesn't it? Here's the deal: we had sellers who wanted to sell, buyers who wanted to buy, and everyone eventually was satisfied with the price. A number of people whined about how quickly it sold although they admitted that they knew it was a good deal. They had been lulled by the current expectation that all houses take a while to sell and didn't act quickly enough.

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Eagle Rock as Wine Country

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