Homes for Sale

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Amazing Remodeled Duplex in South West Los Angeles - Live in One, Rent One, or Rent Both - Reduced to $620,000

Fantastic opportunity to own this newly completed conversion from a single family home to a DUPLEX. Taken down to the studs, reconfigured, remodeled, square footage added, Ready for your new "market rent" tenants, or live in one and rent one out.

This is a wonderful trophy property. One unit has 2 beds and 2 baths, and another unit has 1 bed and 1 bath. There is a detached garage with additional space, and an attached car port. Both the front and back yard have been completely landscaped and the property is fenced and gated. Each unit has beautiful laminate flooring, stone countertops, new stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry, recessed lighting, new heating, new double pane windows, all new drywall and electric.

This property is Turn-Key. There is a beautiful deck for entertaining in the back with banana trees, a pond and waterfall, and lush grassy area.

All of this, and you are only blocks from USC, Exposition Park, California Science Center, The Coliseum, The Sports Arena, the 110 Freeway and all of Downtown LA is just minutes from this location. Plenty of Shopping and Public Transportation within walking distance.

Facts and Features
Type - Multi Family
Year Built - 1921
Parking - 4 spaces
MLS # - 18-349520
Price/sqft  - $483
Interior Features
Bedrooms - 3
Bathrooms - 3
Heating: Wall
Floor size: 1,284 sqft
Flooring: Laminate
Unit count: 2 Units
PropertyType: Residential Income Duplex
Roof: Asphalt
Dates - Built in 1921
Other Construction Features
Lot: 6,756 sqft
Parcel #: 5020007035
Community and Neighborhood
Carport, 4 spaces
ParkingGarage: Garage - 1 Car, Driveway Gate
May 2017 for $387,000
Equipment: Range/Oven, Alarm System
New Construction, Updated/Remodeled
Los Angeles Southwest
Laundry: Outside

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Will $120 per Month Stop the Purchase of a $1,000,000 Home?

We have finally come to the end of the amazing and historically unique time when mortgage interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages hovered around 4%, even dropping to under 3.5% for a while. But we are now seeing interest rates headed up. Surprising, this aberration did not result In a massive influx of new home purchases or of new home building. The reasons for this are many and varied. But while the US enjoyed these rates, the main benefactors were existing homeowners who refinanced.

Simultaneously, the lack of new residential construction and the inclination for seniors to age-in-place, created shortages in available homes and apartments to buy or rent, driving prices and rents up rapidly.

Now the pundits and some in the real estate industry are panicking over the interest rate increases, with mortgage interest in the late Spring of 2018 reaching over 4.75%. In the historical context, these rates are still very low. To give a bit of context:

From 1900 – 1967 rates were narrowly confined between 5% and 6%, except for a brief time at the end of WWII.

From 1967 – 2007 Rates ran up starting in 1967 all the way through the housing bubble bust of 2007. During this period rates were well above 6%, climbing as high as 17% in the credit crisis of 1982.

2007 – 2018. The housing bust, bank debacle, great recession combination drove mortgage interest rates to unimagined lows for over a decade. With the economy getting stronger, the Fed has seen fit to increase Fed Funds Rates and is starting to sell off assets purchased to keep the economy from crashing. The net intended affect is to send all interest rates higher to stave off potential inflation above the Fed goal of 2% annually.

Thus far in the 2018, we’ve seen rates increases that the headlines have described as the fastest increases in history. There seems to be some panic around all this. However, there is every reason to believe that rates will eventually settle into the 5%-6% range that seems to “normal” outside of extenuating circumstances. 

Will we have extenuating circumstances? Who can know? The primary driver of mortgage interest rates is bond interest rates and Federal Reserve rates. Some would argue that we have a bond bubble caused by massive borrowing in the government and public spheres. If that were to bust, we could see bond rates go much higher. Very few are expecting that in the near term.

The economy could accelerate out of control, creating inflation, and Federal Reserve efforts to slow the economy down using higher interest rates. It is hard to find anyone predicting economic growth above 4%, and most seem to agree that the economy could grow quite a bit without serious inflation.

What does all this mean to the average citizen who owns a home or is contemplating purchasing a home?

The big worry is that higher interest rates means that the cost of ownership goes up. But while every decision about purchasing can be affected by small incremental changes, the increases here would seem unlikely to do much damage in the overheated real estate market.

As noted in the headline, each increase in the interest rate of 0.25%, from say 4.5% to 4.75% will increase the payment on a $1,000,000 home by $120 a month or about 0.025% of the payment of $2450 (including property tax, insurance, etc.) Another way to look at it is that the increase of an entire 1% will increase the payment by $480.
If this buyer was maxed out on their ability to pay, either by their own budgeting or by the mortgage underwriting, they would need to drop their expectations to a home of about $900,000. For the first time homebuyer this could be an issue and could drive down prices by some amount.

However, a huge part of the market right now is all cash deals, high-roller tech employees, and homeowners looking to move up or down. The first group has high incomes, the second group has flexibility regarding down payments. Having said this it would be pollyannaish to think that a 1% or more move will have no force in home pricing.

The mitigating forces that are likely to keep home prices moving up
  • Demand is high, increasing, and likely to continue to increase.
  • Supply is low, decreasing, and unlikely to increase compared to supply
  • Current home prices have not retaken 2007 levels when adjusting for inflation.

If you’d like to review the details of those three assertions, please go here.

Assuming those three statements to be true, the upward force on prices has been at the rate of about 7% per year. A ballpark guess might be that the interest rate increases might slow that in half for a couple of years. But there’s one more mitigating force that needs to be considered.

People tend to panic, and the panic in this case would cause folks to try and get the today rate at 4.75% before it goes to 5%, and under one theory of investing, they would be correct. This theory assumes that to the extent that you wish to own, and that you intend to own for many years into the future, even if you sell and buy one or more times in your life, what you pay to make your initial purchase will not be that consequential.

Moreover, if interest rates continue up and home prices, too, you’ll be thrilled at your decision. If interest rates drop in the future, you can refinance. If home prices drop, you only lose if you sell and don’t repurchase at an equally deflated price.

Final recommendation

If you want to own your own home, or if you want to buy a different residence, don’t fret the price or the interest rate. Make the wisest decision regarding your needs, the neighborhood, and your ability to pay. The rest will sort itself out over time.

If you are ready to buy your home, whether your first or a move to a new-to-you home, Whit can help you find the perfect place. If you are ready to sell your property, Whit wrote the book on how to sell your Los Angeles Home. 310-777-6302

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Beverly Hills West Flats Home for Sale - 517 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

517 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

3 beds 3 baths 2,451 sqft

For Sale
Listed by:

If you prefer walking to driving, everything you'll ever want or need is a short walk from your front door. The finest dining and most elegant shopping outlets in the world are just blocks away. The outstanding location is in the West Flats of Beverly Hills, near internationally acclaimed hotels and world-class shopping. Just a few of the shops you'll find in your new neighborhood:

  • Agent Provocateur, 242 North Rodeo Drive
  • Alfred Dunhill (in Saks Fifth Avenue), 9600 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Anthropologie, 211 South Beverly Drive
  • Armani, 436 North Rodeo Drive
  • Badgley Mischka, 477 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bally, 340 North Rodeo Drive
  • Banana Republic, 357 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bang & Olufsen, 479 North Rodeo Drive #104
  • BCBG Max Azria, 443 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bijan, 420 North Rodeo Drive
  • Brioni, 459 North Rodeo Drive
  • Brooks Brothers, 468 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bottega Veneta, 457 North Rodeo Drive
  • Bulgari, 401 North Rodeo Drive
  • Burberry, 301 North Rodeo Drive
  • Carroll & Co., 425 North Canon Drive
  • Cartier, 370 North Rodeo Drive
  • Chanel, 400 North Rodeo Drive
  • Christian Dior, 315 North Rodeo DriveChristofle, 9515 Brighton Way
For more like this go to the bottom of the page.

The home is outfitted with three bedrooms (A 3rd bedroom could be converted to a den, library, office or crafts room) and 2~ baths. You'll love how this home retains a traditional east coast style. The entry foyer leads to spacious rooms with abundant natural light, crown moldings, recessed lighting, and wood floors in much of the home.

The living room features a fireplace against a wainscoted wall with built-in bookcase and bay window looking out to a brick patio and grassy yard. Entertaining is a breeze in the generously-sized formal dining room with bay window, built-in cabinets, and china hutch alcove. The kitchen has travertine floors, wood cabinets with self-closing drawers, granite countertops, and sunny breakfast room. Two bedroom suites benefit from dual closets and private baths. The den is carpeted, with a brick fireplace, vaulted ceiling, and glass doors to the yard. 

Re-fresh this pied-a-terre, or create your dream home at this incredible location with a land-value price that is very competitive in this neighborhood. 

Full Property Details for 517 N Bedford Dr

Beverly Hills West Flats Home for Sale


  • Price: $5,999,000
  • Status: Active
  • Type: Single Family
  • MLS ID: 18-322082
  • Updated: 3/12/2018
  • Added: 3 day(s) ago

Property History

  • 517 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Listed at $5,999,000 on 3/12/18


  • Rooms/Areas: Dining Room, Master Bedroom, Den, Formal Entry, Living Room
  • Number of Fireplaces: 2
  • Fireplace(s): Den, Living Room
  • Eating Areas: Breakfast Room, Formal Dining Room
  • Appliances: Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Refrigerator, Range
  • Flooring: Carpet, Ceramic Tile, Wood



  • Total Bathrooms: 3
  • Full Bathrooms: 2
  • Half Bathrooms: 1


  • Total Bedrooms: 3

Other Rooms

  • Laundry: Individual Room

Additional Information

  • Pool Description: No Pool
  • Spa Description: None


  • Deck/Patio: Open Patio


  • Parking Type: Garage Is Detached, Garage (Two Doors)
  • Parking: Driveway


  • County: Los Angeles
  • Driving Directions: North of Santa Monica Blvd in middle of block.

School Information

  • Elementary School: BHUSD
  • Middle School: BHUSD
  • High School: BHUSD

Heating & Cooling

  • Cooling Type: Central Air Conditioning
  • Heating Type: Forced Air

Structural Information

  • Architectural Style: Traditional
  • Structure Type: Single Family
  • Common Walls: Detached/No Common Walls
  • Square Feet: 2,451
  • Sq. Ft. Source: Public Records
  • Year Built: 1922

Lot Features

  • Property View: No View
  • Lot Size (Sq. Ft.): 11,787
  • Lot Size Source: Public Records
  • Zoning: BHR1*

Financial Considerations

  • Price Per Sq. Ft.: $2,447.57

Disclosures and Reports

  • Special Conditions: Standard Sale
  • Legal Disclosures: Trust/Conservatorship, Commission to Buyer Agent

 Continuation of the walkable shopping for this home
  • Christofle, 9515 Brighton Way
  • Coach, 327 North Rodeo Drive (flagship)
  • Crate & Barrel, 438 North Beverly Drive
  • David Orgell, 262 North Rodeo Drive
  • David Yurman, 371 North Rodeo Drive
  • Dolce & Gabbana, 342 North Rodeo Drive # 204
  • Ermenegildo Zegna, 337 North Rodeo Drive
  • Escada, 9502 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Eres, 9566 Dayton Way
  • Etro, 9501 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Fendi, 355 North Rodeo Drive
  • Ferragamo, 357 North Rodeo Drive
  • Frette Beverly Hills, 445 North Rodeo Drive
  • Gucci. 347 North Rodeo Drive
  • Guess?, 411 North Rodeo Drive
  • Harry Winston, 310 North Rodeo Drive
  • Hèrmes, 434 North Rodeo Drive
  • Hugo Boss, 414 North Rodeo Drive
  • Jimmy Choo, 240 Via Rodeo Drive
  • Lacoste, 447 North Rodeo Drive
  • La Perla, 433 North Rodeo Drive
  • Lladró Porcelain, 234 North Rodeo Drive
  • Loro Piana, 455 North Rodeo Drive
  • Louis Vuitton, 295 North Rodeo Drive
  • Marina Rinaldi, 9656 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Michael Kors, 360 North Rodeo Drive
  • Mikimoto, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Mont Blanc, 323 North Rodeo Drive
  • Neiman Marcus, 9700 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Niketown, 9560 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Oilily, 9520 Brighton Way
  • Patek Philippe, 360 North Rodeo Drive
  • Polo Ralph Lauren, 456 North Rodeo Drive
  • Porsche Design, 236 North Rodeo Drive
  • Pottery Barn, 300 North Rodeo Drive
  • Prada, 343 North Rodeo Drive
  • Roberto Cavalli, 362 North Rodeo Drive
  • Rolex, 360 North Rodeo Drive
  • Saks Fifth Avenue, 9600 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Scandia Down Shop, 332 North Beverly Drive
  • Stuart Weitzman, 437 North Rodeo Drive
  • Taschen Books, 354 North Beverly Drive
  • Tiffany & Co., 210 North Rodeo Drive
  • Tod's, 333 North Rodeo Drive
  • Tori Burch, 366 North Rodeo Drive
  • Tumi, 430 North Rodeo Drive
  • Valentino, 324 North Rodeo Drive
  • Van Cleef & Arpels, 300  North Rodeo Drive
  • Vera Wang, 428 North Rodeo Drive
  • Versace, 248 North Rodeo Drive
  • Vilebrequin, 9519 Wilshire Boulevard
  • Williams-Sonoma, 339 North Beverly Drive
  • Yves Saint Laurent, 469 North Rodeo Drive

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Santa Monica Townhouse Condo North of Wilshire for Sale. Price Dropped $1,125,000

Gorgeous and Modern, Tri-Level Townhouse with 2 Beds, 2.5 Baths, bright and airy Loft Space, and a Sun Deck for outdoor entertaining! Updated Kitchen with custom Italian DiNovo cabinetry and Fisher & Paykel stainless steel appliances. Highest Quality Wood floors in the Living, Dining, Entry, Powder Bath, Loft and Stairs. Carpet in bedrooms. Laundry is stackable in the hallway between bedrooms, and there is 2-car, side-by-side parking w/additional storage. This is a wonderful location, North of Wilshire Blvd. and blocks from the Beach and 3rd Street Promenade.

Full Property Details for 1127 12th St #305


  • Price: $1,195,000 dropped to $1,125,000
  • HOA FEE: $525/month
  • Status: Active
  • Type: Condo /Townhouse
  • MLS ID: 18-304154
  • Updated: 1/17/2018
  • Added: 17 day(s) ago

Property History

  • 1127 12th St #305, Santa Monica, CA
  • Listed at $1,195,000 on 1/17/18


  • Rooms/Areas: Master Bedroom, Loft, Entry, Living Room, Walk-In Closet
  • Interior Features: Elevator
  • Number of Fireplaces: 1
  • Fireplace(s): Living Room, Gas
  • Eating Areas: Dining Area
  • Appliances: Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Refrigerator, Stackable Washer/Dryer Hookup
  • Flooring: Carpet, Linoleum, Wood



  • Total Bathrooms: 3
  • Full Bathrooms: 1
  • 3/4 Bathrooms: 1
  • Half Bathrooms: 1


  • Total Bedrooms: 2

Other Rooms

  • Laundry: Laundry in Closet, Laundry Area In Unit

Additional Information

  • Shared Amenities: Association Maintains the Landscaping, Assoc Pet Rules, Controlled Access, Gated Parking, Passenger Elevator
  • Pool Description: No Pool
  • Security/Safety: Carbon Monoxide Detector(s), Gated Community, Smoke Detector


  • Deck/Patio: Open Patio


  • Parking Type: Assigned, Community Garage, Gated Underground Parking, Side-by-Side Parking
  • Parking: Built-In Storage


  • County: Los Angeles
  • Driving Directions: North of Wilshire Blvd.


  • Assoc. Name: The Village Association

Heating & Cooling

  • Cooling Type: None, Ceiling Fan(s)
  • Heating Type: Wall Electric


  • TV Service: TV Satellite Dish

Structural Information

  • Architectural Style: Contemporary
  • Structure Type: Condominium
  • Common Walls: Attached
  • Square Feet: 1,230
  • Sq. Ft. Source: Public Records
  • Year Built: 1980

Unit Information

  • Units in Complex: 8

Lot Features

  • Property View: No View
  • Lot Size (Sq. Ft.): 7,496
  • Lot Size Source: Vendor Enhanced
  • Zoning: SMR2*

Financial Considerations

  • Price Per Sq. Ft.: $971.54
  • Association Fee: $525
  • Assoc Fee Freq.: Monthly

Disclosures and Reports

  • Special Conditions: Standard Sale
  • Assoc. Rules: Pets Permitted
  • Legal Disclosures: Take Property As Is, CC and R, Homeowners Association, Owner Has R.E. License, Earthquake Insurance Available, Commission to Buyer Agent

Meet the listing agent

— 1127 12th St #305 —

Schools serving 1127 12th St #305

School District:
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
School Name
Roosevelt Elementary School, Santa Monica, CA
801 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90402

Lincoln Middle School, Santa Monica, CA
1501 California Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Santa Monica High School
601 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90291

Disclaimer: School data provided by Pitney Bowes. School attendance boundaries are for reference only. Contact the school directly to verify enrollment eligibility.

Friday, December 1, 2017

7 Surprising Los Angeles Real Estate Predictions for 2018

Los Angeles is now a world class city. The LA Skyline was voted 2nd best in the USA

The most amazing thing about the following prognostications regarding the Los Angeles Real Estate Market in 2018 is that economics 101 is driving every single one of them. Here’s the list. The detailed explanations follow.

1.     Prices of all homes in all price categories in all neighborhoods will continue up

2.     Rents will also be up, except maybe in DTLA

3.     Mortgage interest rates will continue steady at least through April

4.     Inventory of homes for sale and rental units will be similar to 2017. Extremely limited

5.     Inglewood and Hawthorne will be the next cities to gentrify

6.     The working poor will be forced out into the Inland Empire

7.     DTLA to WLA will become like San Jose…almost recession proof

If you are interested in this article, then it is likely that you are actively watching the real estate scene in Los Angeles. If so, you might think the above seven predictions aren’t all that surprising. But if you are a residential real estate owner, or you plan to either buy or sell in this market, then you might be looking for confirmation of your own ideas of what lies ahead.

Silcon Beach exploding with tech companies
For the most part, this article will examine the Los Angeles market from Down Town Los Angeles (DTLA) to the beaches and from Malibu to Seal Beach. Neighborhood south of DTLA the 10 fwy) are under pressure to gentrify, but there is political pressure to stop that from happening. The neighborhoods east of DTLA will all be inventory challenged, but not in the way that we will continue to see in the DTLA to Santa Monica area.

If you agree with this list, or if you disagree in whole or in part, we’d love to see your thoughts in the comments.

1.     Prices of all homes in all price categories in all neighborhoods will continue up

At the core of all markets we know that supply, demand, and price are forever linked. If supply outstrips demand, prices will fall. If prices go up to far, it creates downward pressure on demand. We have not reached either of those points yet. Whether you define the neighborhoods under discussion as the Wilshire corridor, the 10 fwy corridor or maybe, more expansively, Silicon Beach, the lack of land available for development is not ever going to change.

Los Angeles has no place left to build except to increase density
When there is no land available, supply can only be increased through leveling existing property, and that is happening. However, it takes far longer to increase residential units by increasing density than it does to develop raw land. Therefore, it seems likely that Silicon Beach will mirror New York City or San Francisco. When the land is virtually 100% developed, prices resist downward pressure except in the most extreme recessions.

Los Angeles 3rd highest Nominal GDP

The other side of the equation is demand. Los Angeles has finally become a world class city. Through a bit of luck the necessary combination of location, culture, educational facilities, and infrastructure have all come together in the last 10 years. You could say this happened when the tech industries closed the gap between Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey. Everyone knew that someday Venice beach would have to gentrify. When that happened and Playa Vista was developed simultaneously, Silicon Beach was born, and the entire region was impacted.

Now the demand for housing comes from the tech influx in addition to wealthy international buyers who want a home in the newest world class city. For this demand to drop would require a huge international recession. And, of course, these are generally short lived. One could imagine prices being shaved for a short time by 20 – 30%, but they would inexorably begin up again after the recession ended.

Price pressure is the third component. The prices might get so high that the rational buyer or the incremental buyer is priced out. They’d rather live in Long Beach, San Diego, or some other beach community. Anything is possible, but the prices in these areas are not enough lower at this time to draw folks away from the wide beaches of Santa Monica and Venice. 

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Moreover, the other tech cities along the coast have higher housing prices without the amazing weather, entertainment, cultural facilities, educational options, not to mention mountain and deserts playgrounds. 

2.     Rents will also be up, except maybe in DTLA

Econ 101 tells us about rents as well. Supply, demand price. Then you add in one more component…housing prices. There are two reasons why housing prices effect rent. One is that tenants have the choice to become owners, so there is always an equation that makes that choice more appealing. It isn’t all about finance, of course. There are plenty of emotional and practical elements, too. But the financial one is key even then.

If the economics of owning a home became so much better than renting, then the practical aspects such as length of planned occupancy change. It becomes practical to own even if you only think you’ll be in that home for four years instead of five.

The other side of the rent vs buy story is the landlord’s equation. The cost of the property must be low enough compared to the rent to provide the landlord with an appropriate return on investment. As rents go up, so does the cost the landlord is willing to pay, and vice-versa. 

The same factors driving up home prices are driving up rents. The only place in LA where there might be enough new apartments to meet demand is DTLA. And that oversupply, if it is one, might be very short lived. If developers can’t cross south of the 10 fwy, and the LA City Council voted in November 2017 to make it much harder, there won’t be enough places to build more apartments. But in the short term, there might be a little give back on rents in DTLA.

3.     Mortgage interest rates will continue steady at least through April

Can you find one pundit who, in 2012 or 2015 or even early 2017 would have estimated we’d still be under 5% for 30-year fixed mortgages? But here we are. We continue at these historic low rates, even in the face of Fed tightening and the beginning of the Fed selling off mortgages to reduce the huge overhang of assets that it has been carrying.

Why are mortgage rates still so low, and why might we get another year of only slight increases? Econ 101 again. The folks demand to receive “real” returns on their safe investments of about 2%. So if inflation is at zero, or close to zero, then real interest rates for treasuries and super-secure bonds will be around 2%. Mortgage lenders need to charge more than that, as home mortgages are not as secure as US treasuries.

What is the spread between inflation and mortgage rates. Around 3%. So an argument can be made that interest rates should be closer to 5% with inflation now moving towards 2%.

And there is every reason to believe that this will take place over the next year as the economy continues to heat up and wages begin to climb faster. Wage inflation has been the missing component. To many folks out of the labor market or working way below their skill level. That gap needs to close before wages start moving to where they should be when unemployment is so low. It will probably happen this year or next.

CPI in 2017 - Just barely 2% with recent months lower
So the bond market doesn’t believe in 2% inflation yet. Thus mortgages for under 4%. There is also a supply demand issue for the mortgages themselves. Far fewer mortgages are being written, because home purchases and refinances are way down. This means too many mortgage companies chasing too few mortgages. That is not likely to continue. Markets generally close such gaps.

Figure mortgages around 4% until April when the single-family season heats up. Then we might see 4.5%. If wage inflation hits 2% or more for two quarters in a row, then 5% could happen in 2018.

4.     Inventory of homes for sale and rent will be similar to 2017. Extremely limited

When the market for anything gets really tight, and the prices start getting really high, those who own the thing commonly start thinking about cashing out. After this huge run up in housing prices, why aren’t folks in LA cashing out. The list is very, very long

A.    Where will they move? Housing gridlock. “I can’t sell because there is nothing I want to buy.” It is possible that some wave effect might occur where a bunch of folks decide to sell, and then there’s enough inventory, which opens up another wave. This could happen because of a fear of recession or future downward pressure on prices. This does not seem likely. If you can afford to live in LA, there is not much motivation to leave. If you do want a larger or smaller house, or one that is in another neighborhood, you haven’t increased the local inventory at all.
B.    No mortgage. A very high percentage of the owners in LA have no mortgage or a very low mortgage with very low payments. There is absolutely no incentive to move.
C.     Low mortgage interest rate. No incentive to pay for a new mortgage that might be a point higher than now.
D.    Low property taxes – prop 13. If you move, you are now paying current year property taxes rather than what might be substantially lower taxes.
E.     Cost of moving. Currently it will cost the average owner $70,000 or more to sell an existing $1M home and buy another. For some who bought that same home for $300,000, $70,000 seems like a lot of money.
F.     Been in the house for a very long time. Westside residents, in particular, tend to live in their homes for a very long time. Moving means uprooting friendships, learning new neighborhoods, etc.

We’ve already noted that inventory is not going to grow from new construction. With the exception of DTLA, there is no part of Los Angeles County where building permits are even hinting at the kind of new units that would begin to catch up with demand.

You want a sure bet in real estate. Think back to Venice in 2005. Santa Monica and Mar Vista were sold out. Culver City had the fastest rising cost of housing in the state. Marina Del Rey was sold out. Playa Vista was an old helicopter testing field and wildlife preserve. Venice was surrounded and it was a gang-infested hell hole. Property was dirt cheap and it was walking distance to some of the best beaches on earth. What would one guess could happen someday.

Fast forward to 2018. Venice has the highest cost per square foot for housing in Los Angeles. Playa Vista is sold out and is moving north into the seedy part of Culver City. (homes are only $1,100,000.) Westchester is gentrifying quickly. The airport is being remodeled. The Crenshaw line is being constructed. The forum has new life. The Rams and Chargers will be playing in Inglewood shortly.

City of Champions Stadium will force gentrification in Inglewood and Hawthorne
Most of Inglewood and Hawthorn could use some gentrification. And the owners of the Rams certainly saw the potential for Westward expansion of Silicon Beach. Will it take a year or five years? Hard to know, but there is no place else left to go. This expansion might go all the way to the 10 fwy at La Brea – Crenshaw, but it will start in Inglewood.
Hawthorne also benefits from the stadium and the eastward expansion. In addition, it is also home to SpaceX and the boring company. Who knows what impact Elon Musk might have on Hawthorne as it becomes the starting point for the new car movers under the 405 freeway? Already support companies for SpaceX are eating up industrial property in the area. And you need to house all those engineers and skilled workers.

6.     The working poor will be forced out into the Inland Empire

What do you do if you can’t afford $1500 a month for a bachelor or $2000 a month for a one bedroom in Silicon Beach. You either have to move to poorer neighborhoods, go into the valleys, or go much further east.
The Inland Empire leads by far as destination for buyers leaving primary markets

There are places in South Central that are now improving due to the same pressures that are creating improvements on the West Side; not enough room for the folks who can afford more. Thus those who can’t afford more have to move where the housing is affordable.

There are also places in the Valleys that are more affordable, but only by a few hundred dollars per month. There isn’t really much space to add more housing in San Fernando or San Gabriel. So rents and home prices are high in the better neighborhoods.

Distribution and logistics facilities eating up land in Inland Empire
Where can you go? There’s still a lot of land in Ontario, Riverside, San Bernadino, Moreno  Valley and surrounding areas. But there is an explosion of industrial building in these regions as this area has become the distribution center capital of the US. So 2,000,000 square foot buildings are eating up land in great gobs. Even so, Riverside is currently seeing the largest number of new residential dwellings in the Southland. Housing is only half the cost of West LA in Riverside, and less than that in the neighboring cities. Watch this area explode in the next 5 years.

7.     DTLA to WLA will become like San Jose…almost recession proof

Los Angeles almost averted the 1991 recession. Unfortunately there was a corresponding reduction in military spending which undermined the employment of engineers and skilled workers.

The 2000 recession was caused by the dot com bust, and LA was hit pretty good due to heavy reliance on a broad array of dot come issues.

The 2008 recession hit LA, but not as hard as Phoenix or Miami. If you look at those recessions, the areas that did best were those that had diverse economies and no more land. San Francisco and NYC saw prices drop, but not as much and the rebound was faster.
Hi Tech and Entertainment need one another. They've come together in LA

LA may be reaching that point. The economy is now very diverse. Certainly some kind of tech based recession would hurt. But LA and its neighbors are now the number 1 tourist destination in the world. The entertainment sector is actually being helped by the tech infusion, as the two often need one another.

The distribution centers in the Inland Empire are driving massive increases in the ports and all types of transportation businesses associated with distribution. Will we see hyperloops built to move freight from LA and Long Beach Harbors to Ontario? Will headless trucks be driving in special lanes? Or will drones be the answer?

The future of LA seems secure. Nothing is certain, of course. But it is an exciting time for Silicon Beach.

Buy it at
If you are looking to buy or sell a home In the Silicon Beach area, Whit Prouty wrote the book. Check out his newbook, “10 Keys to Selling Your LA Home,” on
You can set an appointment to discuss your real estate needs by calling Whit at 310-777-6302

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Trump Tax Bill change in Mortgage Interest Deduction Creates Almost No Impact on Los Angeles Real Estate


Mortgage Interest Deduction Change May Cause Small One Time Effect for Homes Valued Between $1,000,000 and $1.3M

Don’t believe the scare headlines. The proposed change in the mortgage interest deduction from a cap of $1,000,000 to $750,000 for new loans will have almost no impact on prices of homes in the Los Angeles area. It is true that California will be impacted more than almost any other area in the US., but the impact will be modest, to say the least.

Under current tax law, the mortgage interest deduction is capped at $1,000,000 of loan outstanding. If you have a loan with a balance of $1,200,000, you are not able to deduct the interest on the $200,000. If the interest rate is 4%, you would effectively not be able to realize $8000 per year of deduction, due to the cap. This taxpayer is likely to be in the 33% tax bracket, so the actual cost per year would be $2667 per year.

Under the new rules, the mortgage interest deduction cap would drop to $750,000.  In the worst case scenario, someone buying a home under the new tax plan that required a $1,000,000 loan would now lose the deduction on $250,000 of interest. Again, if we assume 4% interest, that would be $10,000 per year, and if the taxpayer was in the new 35% bracket, the actual out of pocket cost would be $3,500 per year or about $300 per month. So, in the very worst case scenario, the $300 per month difference would mean this individual might now only be able to afford a $1,200,000 home instead of a $1,250,000 home.

It is likely that there will be some impact on homes between $1,000,000 and $1,300,000. However, the impact will be a one-time event.

If you would like to review the impact of the new tax bill on your plans with regards to buying or selling residential real estate in California, please call Whit Prouty today for a closer look at your exact situation. Call 310-777-6302