Zuman, Home Buyer in Woodland Hills, CA

Is there an area on the Westside of LA that you think is under-priced right now? Looking to purchase and probably sell in 5-6 yrs.

Asked by Zuman, Woodland Hills, CA Wed Aug 11, 2010

Would like to purchase something that needs a bit of TLC and be able to develop some equity.

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Andrew Jones’ answer
Hi Zuman,

Pretty much all of Westchecter comes to mind if you don't mind living a little further south (but as close to or closer to the beach.) Ladera Heights and parts of the Baldwin Hills and North Inglewood all fall loosely into this category as well. I expect major appreciation in all of these overlooked areas that are actually quite close to the beach.

As far as the Westside proper is concerned, I think that the best undervalued area to buy in now is just east of the Marina to Centinela ,between Washington and Culver. This area can also be expanded to include much of Mar Vista and Palms and the western portions of Culver City. I would also take a look at the small group of 1950's tract homes just north of Jefferson and around Balona Creek.

That being said, I'd personally be looking at fixers in Venice and Marina del Rey. Beach premiums have been slipping lately and I've see some really good properties here for under $700k for homes on full lots.

Below is a link to my website where you'll find all the properties listed for sale on the Westside and Beach Cities. Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions about these areas or need any special property searches run for you. Best of Luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 17, 2010
Even thought the market in West L.A. is down there are no steals. As others have mentioned below, find a home that you will enjoy living in and wisdom would have it that in 5-6 years you will make a nice profit when it is time to sell.
Web Reference: http://www.homejane.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
and i'm one block away from santa monica in mar vista.
Flag Mon Apr 23, 2012
unless you bought in 2008 and you're stuck for 12 years! my property on the westside has gone down over $100,000.
Flag Mon Apr 23, 2012
You'll need to qualify and quantify the amount of TLC with which you're willing to live. Keep in mind that some lenders will only lend on properties that require up to a certain amount of TLC.

Additionally, if you're not a pro rehabber, then you should hire one to do the work if you intend to have the repairs actually raise the value of the property. Many sellers have recently learned (and are still learning) that do-it-yourself work without professional finishes usually won't sell for top dollar, and sometimes will decrease the market value of their properties.

Furthermore, set a budget for the repairs, and stick firmly to it. Too many sellers go over their budgets due to a "while I'm at it . . . " infection. While I'm at it, I might as well replace the flooring (that is just fine as it is). While I'm at it, I might as well replace all of my doors (even though I only needed to replace the front or back door). While I'm at it, I might as well replace these (nice looking) red oak cabinets with maples ones (just because I can). I think you get the point. It's one thing to make the modifications to suit your own tastes, and it's completely another thing to make them with the goal of having them to add maximum value. This is where agents, stagers, and pro rehabbers can really help you to put together a solid plan that will add maximum value within your budget.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 14, 2010
Thank you for your question about purchasing a home on the Westside. Your best prospect for capital appreciation is to purchase a home that needs the most TLC on the block in the best Westside neighborhood you can find.

Please understand that you are undertaking a home search that takes longer and is more involved than a typical home search because a home that needs TLC will have to have the type of TLC evaluated before a decision can be made. The process for this type of home usually requires bidding on multiple homes before finding a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 14, 2010
some of the streets are oxford and thatcher. it is south of washington and west of lincolnin marina del rey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 14, 2010
Thanks everyone for your answers and suggestions. Mr. Gold, what would be some street names in the area you describe as the "oxford triangle"? We really like Culver City, due to the walking environment. Does anyone have any feel for the new light rail going in? Is that a detriment or plus? It seems as though some of the property owners near that project aren't happy - was there recently and saw some protest signs. Again, thanks everyone!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 14, 2010
The oxford triangle in marina del rey is a total sleeper. Less than a mile to a great beach and walk to markets, restaurants, movies and minutes to the airport and freeways.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 12, 2010
Deborah, I'm flattered you were compelled to include my comments in your post and appreciate your differing opinion. Yet, wouldn't you agree that all the areas you mentioned were at one time in the recent past "fringe" areas? Some in fact were fringe in the last cycle.

Regarding Venice, I wonder how much these homes cost in 1970? I'd say they appreciated nicely in the past 30 years wouldn't you?


Allan S. Glass
ASG Real Estate Inc. ®
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
I have a client that has purchase 6 investment properties in North Hollywood in the past 6 months. Low cost & high rents. .... Something you may wish to check out. ..... Happy funding, Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Hi Zuman,
Speaking about the Westside, I'm going to assume you mean "not the valley" and west of downtown. I don't agree with Allan on this point:
"I always suggest buying in fringe areas, between two "book end" or two desirable well established parts of town. What typically happens is, the property on the wrong side of the tracks becomes part of the right side of the tracks when people like yourself move in and improve the dilapidated homes."
People have been saying this about Venice for three decades, and Venice is still a "fringe" area. What costs less now because it is "on the wrong side of the tracks" will always be less desirable, especially because property appreciates very slowly, and neighborhoods change very slowly, if at all. How do you know that the fringe area you buy in, hoping for appreciation, doesn't go the opposite way, dragging the better homes with it?
Richard got it right- buy the worst house in the best neighborhood you can afford.
But where are those "value priced" neighborhoods?
Westchester is one. It's a real sleepy community, a "college" area ( Loyola University) close to the airport, freeways, etc. Homes are uniform, with some custom remodels thrown in.
Another value area is Culver City, near the Sony Studios. It's hip, prices are great, and the renovated Culver Downtown is really happening, with clubs and shops and a great nightlife, much like #rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica (at 1/4 the price!)
I was born and raised here on the Westside, and have worked as a realtor here for 34 years. Want to know some more little pockets that are nuggets of gold? Call me. I'm happy to help.
Deborah Bremner
REALTOR, 00588885
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) 818.564.6591
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
The way the market is right now, as in any time, there are buyers looking for "deals" What is "under priced" is a bit speculative... You are right in thinking a bit of tlc may produce some equity, but equity comes over time of ownership.

I do understand what you are asking for though... most buyers have a similar wishlist.... What I would suggest for you is to narrow down the neighborhoods that you wish to live in... again, you said you would live there for 5-6 years. So make it comfortable for you... this will be your new home and foundation where you start and end each day. So you probably want to make the best possible. Once you have narrowed down the areas, I would look at the market there overall, and then compare it to whatever distressed sales exist there also and see what the differences are. Right now, I am finding the most sales are in the distressed area (forclosures and shortsales) You may be surprised the kind of "deal" you could get on one of these type of properties.

The bottom line... you are going to be there a while... you are not renting, and the money you will spend for your purchase will be substantial over the time frame, so you will want to consider minimizing your stress level. You cant put a price on comfort and happiness. Always happy to assist...
Richard "RJ" Kas (SFR, SRES)
"Representing the finest properties from Los Angeles worldwide"
KAS Properties - Coldwell Banker Previews International - Beverly Hills East
9388 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310.859-5334 office - 310.488.9826 mobile - 310-273-0670 fax ATT: RJ
RichardKas@gmail.com - http://www.RJforLA.com - DRE: 01352771
Sellers Buyers Investors Leasing Consulting
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Hi Zuman,

The Westside is down 25-30% from the peak of the "bubble" or "run up" in 2006. The two areas that are seeing reasonable pricing right now are condos in West LA, Westwood/Century City, Mar Vista and Culver City. There are also some good values in the higher priced areas like Beverly Hills. I believe the very low interest rates to qualified buyers has propped up this market.

Best bets if you want to purchase on the Westside and hold for 7 years would be to find a property that needs a bit of work with a 5 or 7 year fixed rate mortgage or buy a new construction/builder close out condo in a good area at a discount. If you buy the worst house in a good area, you most likely won't lose but I wouldn't expect to see major gains if interest rates move higher.

My short answer would be to buy a home that you enjoy living in and don't over extend yourself.

I'm always available for questions.

Good Luck,

Aaron Mirsky
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Even if there was (which I don't believe) I think it would be impossible to predict. You could go with the old saying, buy the worst house in the best neighborhood you can find. I think that your personal enjoyment of the house will hopefully outweigh any marginal differences you would get buying in one area over another.

Richard Schulman
#1 Listing and Selling Agent
Keller Williams Westside Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
The "deals" are being bid up with multiple offers on the Westside, so no. You may want to look south to San Pedro or Long Beach where there are amazing deals to be found.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010

I don't believe there are any 'under-priced" areas in the most sought after area of Los Angeles, the Westside. However, I do believe the current depressed market is creating an opportunity to purchase properties off their inflated prices from the last run up. Additionally, there are many distressed sellers or banks who will sell properties at a bargain compared to the non-distressed properties currently listed.

You're on the right track seeking to add value by buying a fixer, or one needing TLC.

I always suggest buying in fringe areas, between two "book end" or two desirable well established parts of town. What typically happens is, the property on the wrong side of the tracks becomes part of the right side of the tracks when people like yourself move in and improve the dilapidated homes.

I'm a fan of the Mid Cities areas between downtown Los Angeles and the beach. Areas around the 10 freeway. Examples would be Culver City, Mid-Cities (north of the 10), Beverlywood adjacent, Picfair Village, West Adams, Mar Vista. These may not technically be considered Westside on the LA Times neighborhood map, but I think gives you most bang for your buck.

It would also help if I knew your price range...

Best of luck,

Allan S. Glass
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
I don't really believe that there is anything on the Westside that would be perceived as "underpriced" at this time, per se. That said, there are always deals to be found, especially in today's depreciating climate. Homes that are cosmetically challenged, have structural issues, or need a lot of upgrades are going to derive the best value for you. The caveat to this type of purchase is that you really have to have a clear idea of your repair costs, work with an experienced contractor that you trust, and know the comps in the area well so that you can determine what the new value on the home will be once you've put some time, money, and energy into it. Working with an agent that is currently working with distressed homeowners that are trying to negotiate a short sale with their lender is another way to go. The short sale process, however, can be tenuous and they take a while to get approved. Good luck and please let me know if I can be of help!

Bree Long
323) 461-6570
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Hi Zuman. Are you going to live in this property as your main residence or fix it for a tenant. That makes a difference for you for tax reasons among other things, Also, do you plan on getting a loan or paying all cash? The interest rate on a loan will be slightly higher for you as an investor.
Web Reference: http://DeborahLondon.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
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