If you stick with single family homes in the very best neighborhoods,that you can afford..that would be the best place to put your investment money. I would not recommend areas that have had a substantial drop in values, that only indicates a longer upward climb later.
You really do need someone who is knowledgeable in order to buy in Los Angeles, because some of our areas are "patchwork" with good areas..not all that far away from dubious ones. Your agent must be very familiar with the neighborhoods and the school districts that serve it.
Best of Luck to you
It really depends on your price range. The drops in values are highest in Condos. Some areas 50% while areas like Brentwood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills have seen little if any decline and also increases. If you are speaking of LA proper and not County then I recommend the areas that are mid-level (with higher end properties in them) that will be solid investments. Every neighborhood is a micro-climate. We have not seen equal decline (in all areas) as I mentioned. If you plan on being in town, I recommend Mar Vista, Culver City and Miracle Mile. Declines of 20% range but still with homes in the that will eventually go back up as they are solid neighborhoods. Areas like Southern parts of Los Angeles and outlining areas of LA have seen drops of 50-75%. I don't see these areas recovering an appreciating at the same level as the other areas as I think they were overly inflated by the mad rush of buyers looking to find a home in Los Angeles. Other areas you can find good value that are relatively close to LA or in town are Culver City, Silverlake, Encino, Studio City, Valley Village, Burbank. Finding the right deal in the decline is all about trying to decide if you want to go to a neighborhood that is high end and solid with some decline and less bang for your buck or a neighborhood with a steep decline the runs the risk of not recovering at the same pace as the rest of the market. It is my opinion that the next incease in LA over time will not be as steady in all markets as it was in the past.
If you have any questions, let me know.
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
Phone (323) 899-2900
The areas of LA that are seeing the best value right now are the former boom areas where too many people bought with 100% financing on adjustable loans. I.E. people who don't know how to manage money well.
Eagle Rock 90041 is down about 35%, Highland Park 90042 is down 50% The Adams District 90018 is down about 40% Silverlake flats 90026 are down about 30% but the hills 90039 are only down about 15%. I think any of these areas would be a particularly prudent investment. Remember, when buying try to pay 100 times the monthly rent that the property will get and you will never get burned. For example, if a duplex earns $3500 a month then pay no more than $350000 for it and you're home free.