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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!
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Mid-Century Modern at 2649 Medlow Avenue

Mid-Century Modern at 2649 Medlow Avenue

Live the Los Angeles dream in this midcentury modern with vaulted beamed wood ceilings, freshly refinished hardwood floors, and views of the final resting place of stars like Michael Jackson.

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The open living/dining/kitchen offers a feeling of space and the opportunity to design your own gourmet space.

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Upstairs are two bedrooms, with hardwood floors and beamed ceilings, and a bath.

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Downstairs is a spacious family room, with ample storage space, and the master suite, both with access to the patio and back yard.

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The backyard is large and completely fenced, with a parking pad for your Airstream Bambi. Conveniently located near the hip section of York Blvd and with easy access to the 2 freeway for downtown commuters.

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Freshly painted inside and out with new carpet downstairs, you can move right in! Eagle Rock schools include the popular Delevan Elementary.

Listed for $599,000
3 bedrooms, 2 baths
1,539 sq. ft. on an 8,024 sq. ft. lot
Built in 1956

For more photos, details, and open house information visit 2649 Medlow on our website.

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Contemporary with Views at 1401 Wildwood Drive, Eagle Rock

Contemporary with Views at 1401 Wildwood Drive, Eagle Rock

Step into modern day easy living with this newer 2004-built home with views, quiet and style.

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Originally finished with high-quality fixtures and immaculately maintained, this home is truly "turn-key" -- right down to every knob and faucet.

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The kitchen opens onto the dining area, and looks out onto views of the mountains.

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You might not ever want to leave the master bedroom and bath--the huge spa-style tub, separate shower, dual separate sinks all make it so you never have to feel crowded even when you both have to get ready at the same time.

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The third level has a flexible floorplan with a large room currently used as an art studio, a smaller bedroom and 3/4 bath which could be another master suite.

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Outdoor spaces include balconies on each floor and peaceful, verdant views.

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With over 2400 square feet, there is space for everything in this 3-level home with attached 2-car garage.

Listed for $769,000
3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
2,413 sq. ft. on a 9,082 sq. ft. lot
Built in 2004

For more photos, details, and open house information, visit 1401 Wildwood on our website.

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What's Happening in the Northeast LA Real Estate World Now?

What's Happening in the Northeast LA Real Estate World Now?

The Northeast LA real estate market is an ever-changing beast.  Here are the main elements of what's driving our market today:

Increased Interest Rates

The big news in the real estate market is that rates have jumped up quickly. Most of the market volatility is stemming from speculation that the Fed will eventually be discontinuing its QE3 program. Rates have increased approximately 1% across the board on all products.

Although no one really likes higher interest rates, it is normal in a recovering real estate market to see rates rise. Also slightly higher rates will allow new lenders to enter the arena making for a more efficient market through increased competition. However, rates are still at historical lows compared to the 13.4% 30 years ago! The market is filled with opportunity and we cannot emphasize the importance of good strategic advice with access to innovative products to thoughtfully structure the right solution for clients.

Increased Inventory

The number of homes for sale in Northeast Los Angeles has definitely increased in the last few weeks. We are now averaging about 30 homes currently for sale in Eagle Rock. While significantly higher than the 12 we had earlier this year, we are still a far cry from the 75 homes for sale back in 2010. In Highland Park we are averaging about 40 homes active on the market, compared to 159 back in 2009. We are still seeing multiple offers on our listings.

Instead of perhaps attracting 10-15 offers, we are receiving 5-6. This of course depends on pricing strategy and what else is available when we come on the market.

The under $500,000 market continues to move very quickly. We received 10 offers on our one bedroom listing at 1915 Chickasaw (listed for $389,000).A house on Avenue 54 in Highland Park received 60 offers (listed for $299,000) and sold for 33% over asking price.

Increased Average Sales Price

The average sold price in Eagle Rock in June 2013 was $590,000, which continues the upward trend we’ve been experiencing. That’s 7.5% higher than the average of $549,000 in June 2013, and 27.4% higher than the average of $463,000 in June 2009.

In Highland Park the average sales price has reached $439,000, which is 44.9% higher than the average in June 2009, and 17.7% higher than the average of $373,000 just last year.

What does this mean for you?

This is still the best time to sell your home that we’ve seen in the last 5 years. While we are not experiencing the dramatic price spike that we saw earlier this year, prices have gone up considerably year over year. With more inventory available, the ability to move up into a bigger home, or down-size, while selling your home is more achievable. Our sellers are getting strong prices for their homes.;Our buyers are starting to see more opportunities in the market.

Call us today to discuss your real estate needs.

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Happy Fourth of July!

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From Lawn to Landscaped: Link Round Up!

From Lawn to Landscaped: Link Round Up!

I was driving up Highland View in Eagle Rock a couple of weeks ago and noticed one house had pulled up their front lawn and replaced it with a lovely garden, complete with planter bed. I love a good front yard transformation!  Here is a round-up of front yard ideas for you this weekend:

Before and After: From Thirsty Lawn to Xero-Garden

Lawn to drought resistant in 7 easy steps

An update on one blogger's front yard vegetable garden.

Sunset Magazine highlights creative front-yard makeovers.

Especially useful in our neck of the woods, five plants that can take the heat.

A suburban Twin Cities' family gets an edible estate.

Did you know that some front yard gardens are causing quite the controversy? Defying conformity and challenging authority.

And along those lines, six things that may be banned from your front yard.

Front yard farms and grass-free gardens.

And for those of you that just can't get rid of the lawn, here are 6 low-maintenance grasses.

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1266 Hits

Just Sold! 4450 Yosemite Way and 4757 Avoca Street

On Friday we closed escrow on two great homes in Northeast LA - 4450 Yosemite Way in Glassell Park and 4757 Avoca in Eagle Rock.  Both homes came on the market at the same time - Yosemite Way for $549,000 and Avoca for $539,000 - and it was very interesting to see buyers' reactions to these two different homes. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Yosemite-4450-front-1sm.jpg4450 Yosemite Way, Glassell Park
Listed for $549,000
3 bedrooms, 2 baths, plus a family room

4450 Yosemite Way is a midcentury ranch, 1,562 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a family room.  The sellers purchased it in 2007 and transformed it from grandma's house to a modern home with a comfortable floor plan.  They update the systems throughout, remodeled the kitchen, and refinished the hardwood floors.  The back yard is nestled in the hills with a covered patio, lawn, and plenty of room for entertainment, gardening, or play.  Buyers loved the amount of space in this home, and how well-cared for it is.


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4757 Avoca Street, Eagle Rock
Listed for $539,000
2 bedrooms, 1 bath

4757 Avoca Street is a midcentury traditional with modern touches, 1,073 sq. ft. with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath.  The previous owner did a beautiful job updating the home, expanding the living room, remodeling the kitchen, installing hardwood floors, and creating an indoor/outdoor flow with large deck and easy-care yard.  Buyers loved the feel of this home, with its bright rooms, large windows, and access to the back yard.

We received 13 offers on 4757 Avoca and 15 offers on 4450 Yosemite Way.  4450 Yosemite Way ended up selling for $615,000 - 12% over the asking price.  4757 Avoca sold for $588,000 - 9% over the asking price. 

Congratulations to the new home owners!

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Nine Single-Family Homes Being Built in Highland Park

The latest in Highland Park real estate news - nine single-family homes are being built on Burwood Avenue in Highland Park. Curious about the rumors of "gated community" and the like, I attended the Highland Park Neighborhood Council Meeting to hear a presentation by a representative from Williams Homes, a smaller developer who works out of Santa Clarita, who is building the project. I will tell you right now, this is an opinion piece, not a news article. And when you say Santa Clarita to me, I think of packed-in-like-sardines cheesy spec-built stucco developments with no soul. Here are the facts according to Keith Herren, Executive Vice President of Williams Homes:

 

  • The development plan has been approved. Grading has begun, sewers and water are in, the streets will be in soon, and home construction will begin within a couple of months.
  • The homes will be 2400-2700 square feet. The flat lots will have 2-story homes. The hillside lots will have 3-story homes with the main living area on the second floor, bedrooms on the top floor.
  • The lots will be about 5,000 square feet and the homes will each have yards.
  • The price is going to be in the $700,000-$750,000 range.
  • The style will be contemporary, a lot like the Rock Row development on Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.
  • The development will not be gated.

 

The discussion at the Neighborhood Council was lively. Neighboring residents voiced their objections to the style and the size of the homes because they felt it would be inconsistent with their smaller, historic Craftsman-style homes. These folks have every right to their opinion. They feel that no one will want to buy the new homes because they don't represent the historic nature of Highland Park. 

 

I think it will be very interesting to see what becomes of these 9 homes. We have seen inappropriate developments in Highland Park before--the Monterey Hills development that sold out eventually, and the four homes on North Staley off of Avenue 64, to name two. Both projects were supremely not Craftsman style, the Monterey Hills project was a large enough development that it was its own community, separate from the main part of Highland Park. The four homes on North Staley were real tract-style homes, priced in the $800,000-plus range and they still haven't sold.

 

I think this development could be different. For one thing, the homes are going to have some style and character, even though it isn't a Craftsman style. I hope they will incorporate some green building materials and features, like the Rock Row development did. Personally, I would much rather see an honest contemporary-styled home next to an original Craftsman home than see an imitation of the faceless beige stucco homes that stretch for miles in so many developments in Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino counties. 

 

We have a contemporary home coming on the market next week which will set a precedent for this development, and it's maybe a half-mile away. 5830 Buena Vista Terrace is an architectural, eco-friendly contemporary that knocks my socks off, and I think the buyers are going to flock over to buy it. It has about the same square footage as these homes, 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, views from almost every window, a very private setting, and much more. We listed it for $799,000, Come check it out and tell me if you agree that it's about good style versus no style. Highland Park is historic and full of Craftsman homes, but it also has some interesting modern and contemporary homes scattered throughout. 

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The Market Update You've Been Waiting For!

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Within twelve short months the real estate market has done a complete turnaround:

  • The number of homes listed for sale is at an all-time low. Today there are 16 homes for sale in Eagle Rock. This time last year there were 42. In Highland Park there are 25 for sale, compared with 81 last year.
  • The number of Buyers looking for a home is growing every day. As we talk with buyers at our open houses we're hearing less "I'm not sure we've hit the bottom yet" and more "I really want to buy a house NOW."
  • Most homes that are market priced are selling in multiple offers over the asking price. All of the homes we've closed escrow on this year received multiple offers.
  • The competition for homes is increasing every day. We recently submitted an offer for a client on a house that had 22 total offers, and went to an all cash offer.
  • Many buyers are paying all cash, are willing to close in a very short period of time and will offer a lease back option if helpful to the seller.
  • Interest rates continue to hover at historic lows.

WITHOUT QUESTION THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO SELL YOUR HOME IN THE LAST 5 YEARS!

If you are thinking of selling your home you might be very surprised at what a buyer will pay in today's market.

If you are interested in moving up, this is the PERFECT TIME! The opportunity to get a great price for your current home and buy a new home as values rise is incredible.

This could also be the ideal time to make a great real estate investment!

Whether you are thinking about Buying or Selling...

Real estate is very exciting again!

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I’m Walking and Fundraising to Fight Breast Cancer

Did you know that every three minutes, another woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer? I didn’t, and I was shocked to learn how prevalent this horrible disease has become in this country.

Ten years ago, I joined thousands of other women and walked the first Avon Walk Against Breast Cancer. This time, my daughter Keely asked me to join her on her first Avon Walk, and I’ve committed to doing that.

I’m asking for your help. On September 13-14, we’ll spend the weekend walking, along with thousands of other people, in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. We will walk at least the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles), and I may walk as far as a marathon and a half. Either way, it’s a very long walk. I’ll have to spend the next few months training, fundraising, and preparing for the event. It’s a big challenge, but I’m very excited about doing it because I know it will make a real difference to the millions of people affected by breast cancer.

The money raised goes to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to provide access to care and to work toward finding a cure. They provide funding to organizations all over the country in five areas: medical research, clinical care, support services, educational and advocacy seminars, and community-based, non-profit early detection breast health programs. Much of the money raised will stay right here to help people in our city.

I’m required to raise at least $1,800 to participate. Please help to support me and the breast cancer cause by making a generous contribution to my efforts. You can make your donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message, which will bring you right to my personal page. Please remember as you’re making your donation that in less than the time it took to read this e-mail, another woman in the U.S. was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Thank you for your support. If you receive duplicate emails from me, please understand that I wanted to make sure at least one message went to your current email address.

P.S. You can find out more about the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer by visiting www.avonwalk.org

Click here to visit my personal page.

If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk2008/LosAngeles?px=4084328&pg=personal&fr_id=1650&et=CZmNxGARnff5BPL1fg3DCA..&s_tafId=314152

Some email systems may send your response to the Avon Foundation, not to your walker/donor when you push “reply”. Before “sending”, please confirm that your message is addressed to your intended recipient (above). If This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. appears as a recipient, please delete and add the correct recipient email.

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Straight Talk About Foreclosures

The people who made the most money during the California Gold Rush of the 1800s were the grocers and other providers who sold goods to the prospectors. Today, the people making the most money off the great deals to be found snapping up foreclosures are selling the lists, how-to programs, and access to the websites that publish the data on pre- and post- foreclosures.

You don’t believe me? Fine. Pay your $49.95 per month for access to the lists and then go convince one of the people who have had a notice of default published that they should sell to you instead of going through the disgrace of foreclosure. Keep in mind that someone in this kind of financial trouble is not a particularly reliable source of information about the true state of the property in question, or about other liens there might be against the property besides the one that filed the notice. Are you an investor? In this case, that means someone who does not intend to live in the property. If you are, then a Realtor cannot represent you because there is an odd law called the Home Equity Sales Contract Law that says they can’t without a bond that doesn’t exist. So you are on your own to negotiate the jungle of preliminary title reports and what they mean among other technical issues. Also, the seller can claim duress anytime up to 2 years after the sale and have the sale rescinded, plus collect damages against you

Another thing to keep in mind is that the minute a notice of default is recorded against a property, the owner starts receiving all kinds of letters and notices from attorneys, lenders, investors, and other individuals who all promise they have the magic pill that will cure all the homeowner’s financial problems and allow them to keep the property or sell it at a profit or win the lotto or something. The homeowner quickly becomes immune to any communication relating to the property due purely to mail overload. And phone call overload if their phone number is listed

You can buy yourself a cheap foreclosure on the steps of the courthouse because the website says that the equity is 40%. Of course, you have no access to the property, no inspection or disclosure rights, and when you become the owner of the property you get to be the one who evicts the unfortunate tenants or former owners from the site. In the City of Los Angeles and other communities with rent control laws, you may find yourself with tenants you cannot get rid of. And anywhere, if they are there with a valid lease, a change of ownership does not affect their right to live out the terms of the lease. Also, if the lien holder in second or third position is the one foreclosing, you may find that you have a senior deed of trust that you are now responsible for paying.

In actual real life, most foreclosures eventually become listed by Realtors who have a relationship with the lender that obtains the property. They get to make sure the tenants vacate, secure the property and do whatever cleanup/fixup the bank approves. Then the property is listed on the Multiple Listing Service and is treated just like any other listed property, which means you can call me to represent you on the purchase. Sometimes they are listed for a really low price and there are multiple offers, sometimes the bank is just like many sellers who think they need to get more than what any buyer is willing to pay for the property.

Does this make you want to run out and pick up a foreclosure list or sign up for access to a foreclosure site? Call me, I have a great bargain for you. It’s out in the desert. It’s a bridge!

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1027 Hits