Blog - Archive for June, 2011

L.A. Metro Home Hot Pick-Brentwood, Sunset Plaza, Hollywood

June 22nd, 2011

Hot Picks

At L.A. Metro Home we keep our eye on the market to find you the best values. These properties may sometimes need a little work but with some polish can turn out to be a great investment.

We start in the Westside, Brentwood Ca. at 12632 W. Sunset Blvd. 90049. Built in 1951 by renowned architect William Krisel (1924 to present.)

Architect William Krisel $1,399,000.00

The home is deceiving from the street. Pull into its driveway and you will begin to experience all the possibilities in restoring this diamond in the rough. With approximately 2200 sq. ft of interior space on a 13,460 sq. ft lot, this 2-story home has 3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms, with parking for 5 cars. On the first level enter into a foyer next to an area that can function as guest quarters, an office or family room, directly ahead of you are the stairs to take you up to the 2nd level where there are the master bedroom, 2 family bedrooms, 2 baths, original kitchen living and dining room. Set in a beautiful park like setting enjoy the green view through the vast wall of windows looking out to mature greenery and privacy. A short walk to Brentwood Village shops and restaurants, this prime location is surrounded by million dollar homes near every amenity possible.

Traveling East on Sunset to famed West Hollywood we stumble upon the perfect Los Angelino pad. We arrive at 1464 Sunset Plaza Dr. L.A. CA 90069.

Sunset Plaza Dr. $749,000.00

Sunset Plaza Dr. View

 

This single level post modern built in 1958 has views that will leave you star struck. A short jog from Sunset Blvd, you don’t need to move the car from your driveway. Start your warm up jogging to Equinox, meet a friend for lunch at Chin Chin, pick up little something at Cavalli, Hugo Boss or AX and retreat to your 3 bed, 2 bath pied a terre complete with fire place and private flat back yard, yes I said flat back yard. The perfect meeting place for your friends as the night unfolds. With over 2000 sq ft of interior space on a 7100 sq ft prime L.A. lot, and price liked a condo, you can’t go wrong.

 

For those who just can’t get enough income, I hear you. Here it is, 722 N St. Andrews Pl. L.A. Ca 90038. Located in Hollywood these tidy 5 units are set in two separate buildings.

Hollywood Multi Unit $579,000.00

Large building has 4 units; there is a small house in the back of the building that counts as the 5th unit. All are 1 bedroom 1 bathroom each. The interior sq. ft total is 3458 sq.ft and the lot size is 8232 sq.ft. Property has 5 off street parking spaces. The 1 bedroom house has its own attached garage and private yard (vacant). Update the 2 vacant units and lease them out, building has not reached its full income potential as is. Proximity to Downtown L.A as well as Mid-Wilshire and West to Beverly Hills make the location ideal for use of public transportation. Quick access to the Metro, bus lines and freeways.

For these and other opportunities contact L.A Metro Home to schedule a consultation.

Investor Easy Riding Part 2

June 12th, 2011

Fourplex for $235,000.00

One year ago I published a blog titled Investor Easy Riding, May 15th, 2010 to be exact.

Today there is even greater opportunity. Inventory seems limited since the banks are not flooding the market with the foreclosures on their books. One needs to keep a constant open eye for the values and it will yield results. Competition is high and cash remains king in this game.

However, even with cash in your coffers beware that the lender is slow to respond. Going after a REO (lender owned) or Short Sale means having the patience and tolerance to deal with multiple offers and overworked agents. This is not for the meek, but, for those willing to duke it out, there are rewards.

Downtown Duplex

Downtown duplex $125,000.

Take for example a 4-unit building near USC for under $250,000.00. A duplex near Downtown for $125,000.00. While rents continue to rise and the need for apartments increases, there is guaranteed income in these fixer uppers.

The value does not stop there. During the boom years many amateur developers jumped in the game. Buying up vacant lots and building single-family homes on them. As the market started its rapid decline many of these start ups went cash poor, when the line of credit dried they could no longer continue funding these projects resulting in unfinished buildings being foreclosed. These are starting to hit the market loaded with every amenity possible from stone counter tops, stainless appliances, central air and heat, crown moldings, stone fireplaces, bathrooms with spa tubs, beautiful wood floors and some with spectacular views.

Stay tuned for some exceptional values on vacant land, unfinished new construction and luxury Real Estate. Visit this blog or for more information fill in the contact form at www.lametrohome.com

House vs Condo?

June 12th, 2011

The following article was published in the LMH newsletter, month of June.  To receive the LMH newsletter fill in the contact form at www.lametrohome.com. Written by Tara Nicholle Nelson is her answer to the question “What is better to buy: a house or a townhouse?” Paul Cruz

Prioritize trade-offs in house-vs.-condo decision
By Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Q: What is better to buy: a house or a townhouse?
A. In the house vs. condo or townhouse battle, the analysis of which type to buy is not as simple as “better” or “worse,” per se.
However, there are trade-offs to each, and in the final analysis of which property type to buy, own, and live in, your decision boils down to a matter of fit between your lifestyle, personality and finances, and the key characteristics of the property type you select.
The most common concern home buyers bring up when making the “condo or not” decision are around homeowners associations: the monthly dues they charge, and the restrictions they impose.
While many people think paying any sort of monthly dues on top of your mortgage and property taxes is nuts, these dues often cover expenses that a single-family homeowner would have to pay out as individual line items to various vendors, like garbage collection, hazard insurance and maintenance of the building(s) over time.
Another common “pros and cons” comparison when it comes to the house-vs.-condo debate involves the commonly cited advantage of attached, HOA-style housing, in that it eliminates the biggest portion of the home maintenance single-family homeowners have to do. This is especially true when it comes to the buildings’ exterior, landscaping, and maintaining big ticket items like foundations, boilers, roofs and windows.
Unit owners don’t have to do that sort of work, but the trade-off is a different set of responsibilities that owners of non-HOA properties don’t have: the work of participating in an HOA. That means attending board meetings, reading meeting minutes, staying informed about HOA issues, and voting. If you don’t participate, you can’t be surprised when the HOA levies surprise fees and assessments because expenses weren’t appropriately anticipated or budgeted.
And here’s another set of trade-offs: privacy vs. communal living. In a detached home, you have as much privacy from your neighbors as possible in light of the architecture and lot situation of the property you choose. In an HOA situation, you might share walls, ceilings, floors, parking areas and yards — and, depending on the construction standards of the property, possibly also smells and sounds — with your neighbors; as well, you definitely share some financial interests with your neighbors in a condo scenario.
Along with owning and living in a communal setting comes the obligation to abide by its rules. It is precisely the extensive covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) and community rules and regulations that make a community of relative strangers run smoothly, which makes some prospective buyers bristle at the potential loss of autonomy and ability to freely choose your own home improvements, among other things.
It’s not bizarre for condo rules to limit things like your flooring choice (because hard floors can create noise pollution for lower units); what you can put out on your patio; and the size, number and type of pets you can own.
The flip side? The community, together, possesses economies of scale and can collectively afford property amenities you could never afford to have in your own private property, from doormen to parking garages, pools to community centers, and even including business centers and parks.
So, my answer is: You decide. Do you value privacy over amenities? Ease of maintenance over independence? Ask yourself what your priorities are, and go see both detached homes and condo/townhouse properties in your area. The right personal choice becomes clear to most buyers very early in their house hunts.
With that said, I do have one caveat about condos and townhomes: There are a number of HOAs that are experiencing deep financial crises, post-recession, from the dues they charge being viewed as a low-priority obligation by homeowners struggling to pay their bills. As a result, some HOAs are increasing dues on all homeowners to cover their expenses, and levying special assessments to cover high-priced upgrades and repairs that urgently need doing.
Increasingly, in a large number of HOAs across the country, the units are unable to be resold due to the HOA’s financial issues, rendering it impossible for prospective buyers to obtain mortgage financing — when buyers can’t buy, home values plummet.
If you decide you like condo living, talk with your real estate broker or agent about finding a unit in a healthy HOA — buying into one that is struggling can dramatically impact the value of your home and the ability to resell it over the long term.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is an author and the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com.

Prime time for real estate investors

June 3rd, 2011

The following article will be published in my June 2011 newsletter. To sign up for my newsletter fill in the contact form above and note sign me up. Paul Cruz

Survey: Next two years is prime time for real estate investors
18.5 percent plan to pay in cash
Real estate investors are likely to be three times more active than other types of home buyers in their local markets within the next two years, according to a nationwide survey from Realtor.com operator Move Inc.
According to the survey, a third of real estate investors are planning to buy in the next 24 months, compared with 8.6 percent of typical home buyers — those planning to purchase a primary residence, vacation home, or retirement property. Another 9.1 percent of typical home buyers, and 28 percent of investors, plan to purchase between two and five years from now.
Among the investors, half plan to hold their properties for five or more years while 11 percent expect to sell within a year of purchase, according to the survey.
Some 56.5 percent of investors said the repair and maintenance of their property has not been difficult, and 42 percent plan to spend their own time and energy for that upkeep going forward.
Among the rest, 29.5 percent said they would hire a contractor for repairs and 28 percent said they would purchase move-in-ready properties. About 65.7 percent don’t expect repair costs to surpass 20 percent of the property’s purchase price, the survey said.
“This data suggests today’s climate is hot for investing and is attracting a lot of new people that don’t fit the stereotypical deal-driven flippers who buy and sell properties quickly,” said Steve Berkowitz, Move CEO, in a statement.
“They’re mostly entrepreneurial individuals who will make vital contributions to local communities by investing their own money and sweat equity to improve and maintain properties. These personal sacrifices made over the long run will help improve housing stocks, home values, property tax bases, and thousands of local communities.”
More than half of investors, 53.5 percent, expect home prices to remain the same in the next six to 12 months. Of the rest, 23 percent expect prices to fall. About 69 percent expect it would be easier to find properties in the next six months, though 43.5 percent expect it would be harder to find bargains.
Some 41.5 percent of investors expect it would be easier to sell their properties in the next six months, the survey said.
Only 18.5 percent of investors said they will engage in an all-cash purchase, while 75.5 percent plan to combine cash and credit to purchase a property. More than half (59.5 percent) plan to put down cash but finance more than half of the purchase.
Sixteen percent plan to put down more than 50 percent in cash and finance the rest. Of the cash-only buyers, eight out of 10 expect discounts from sellers.
About 65.5 percent of investor respondents expect the financing difficulties first-time buyers are having will make it easier for them to compete for properties, according to the survey.
“The fact that most real estate investors plan on combing cash and credit for their purchases goes against the conventional wisdom that investor transactions today are mostly cash-only sales,” Berkowitz said.
“This suggests they’re seeing tremendous or once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and may be tapping into credit or taking out second trusts on existing properties. The data also shows they’re expecting high returns to match the level of investment they’re making in an arena that is new to many investors.”
Most, 59 percent, of investors said they were new to investing; only 36.5 percent had experience with more than one property transaction. Nearly half (48 percent) said they expected a profit of 20 percent or more from their property investments, equal to a 4 percent annual rate of return over five years, the survey said. Another 40 percent expected a profit of 10 percent.