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.
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.
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.
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. Â®
149 S. Barrington Ave, Suite #660
Los Angeles . CA 90049
Direct: 213.973.8637 (213.97.FUNDS)
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Visit Allanâ€™s Blog: http://allanglass.featuredblog.com
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.
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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)
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KAS Properties - Coldwell Banker Previews International - Beverly Hills East
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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.
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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