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Old 03-14-2011, 10:04 PM
 
2,251 posts, read 3,121,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
i disagree. my wife and i have a household income of about $150k and are looking to buy a house. we don't have kids yet, but we want to buy a house this year. it will be 3/2, but it will not be 2000sf and that is one of the compromises you have to make at that income level in LA. square footage is a premium in LA, even moreso than updated kitches/bathrooms. having said that, we've looked at houses in encino and sherman oaks, which are considered to be nice neighborhoods. even the schools are decent through the elementary level, middle school and up are a different story. both encino and sherman oaks are within 45 minutes of the westside, even in regular traffic. so your scenario is actually feasible as long as you don't mind less than 2000sf (IMHO, anything over 1500sf should be ample for a family of 4).

i also disagree is that pricing will drop drastically. there are plenty of homes that people could afford given median incomes, but you'd have to either buy a condo or live in a neighborhood that most of us here would feel uncomfortable in. there's also a lot of wealthy to very wealthy people in LA that can and will pay for real estate here. if that was not the case, then prices would have dropped more than they already have. IMHO, prices aren't going to move until either 1. incomes go up or 2. interest rates go up. my guess is that the government will continue to keep downward pressure on rates until incomes start rising again, then we'll see a coordinated increase in both. at that time home prices will either remain flat or see a very slow increase.

you have to also remember that this isn't just a phenomenon that occurs only in LA. you can find this in all of the major coastal cities of the pacific as well as the northeast (SD, SF, Seattle, NY, DC, Boston, etc...). these are all very expensive places to live and people who want to live in nice neighborhoods with goods schools that aren't far from job centers have to pay huge premiums compared to places like St. Louis or Des Moines.
I think we have different standards and life experiences, then, haha. I live in a 920 sq. foot place by myself and it's definitely not big enough for me. More like 1,200 with two bedrooms (one as a home office) would be nice. A family of 4 in 1,500 sq. feet?! Yikes. My first house growing up was 8,000 sq. feet, then 16,000 when I was 13. I can't imagine 4 people crammed into a tiny little house only 50% bigger than where I live now. That's horrible.

I'm with the OP, 2,000 sq. feet at least for a family of 4.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:30 PM
 
11,728 posts, read 23,513,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
I think we have different standards and life experiences, then, haha. I live in a 920 sq. foot place by myself and it's definitely not big enough for me. More like 1,200 with two bedrooms (one as a home office) would be nice. A family of 4 in 1,500 sq. feet?! Yikes. My first house growing up was 8,000 sq. feet, then 16,000 when I was 13. I can't imagine 4 people crammed into a tiny little house only 50% bigger than where I live now. That's horrible.

I'm with the OP, 2,000 sq. feet at least for a family of 4.
I hope you at least recognize that 1500sf for a family of 4 is much closer to reality for 99% of people than 8,000-16,000sf.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:36 PM
 
Location: LA
6,140 posts, read 11,320,958 times
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we must be different. i spent much of youth living in a 1200-1300sf condo with family. we then ended up in a decent size house (maybe 1700sf) near OC. 1700sf was ample space for a family of 5 IMHO. 8000sf is a mansion and bigger then many (if not most) of the houses in beverly hills. 16,000sf is crazy big, i can't even imagine the maintanence costs on an 8000sf home, let alone a 16000sf home. there must have been rooms in your house that saw little to no human activity for extended lengths of time.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:30 PM
 
2,251 posts, read 3,121,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRinSM View Post
we must be different. i spent much of youth living in a 1200-1300sf condo with family. we then ended up in a decent size house (maybe 1700sf) near OC. 1700sf was ample space for a family of 5 IMHO. 8000sf is a mansion and bigger then many (if not most) of the houses in beverly hills. 16,000sf is crazy big, i can't even imagine the maintanence costs on an 8000sf home, let alone a 16000sf home. there must have been rooms in your house that saw little to no human activity for extended lengths of time.
Of course! I found one room like 2 years after moving in. It was just a bathroom but it had a little entry way, then past the entry way a bathroom. I just always assumed it was a closet, I guess. It was in the living room near my dad's office so I really didn't go to that area of the house much. I was like holy crap there's a bathroom here! Everyone laughed at that story in high school, "How do you JUST discover a new room in your house after living there for two years?!" It's definitely possible.

The house is 16,000 sq. feet, but I guess if you include the garage and the room off the garage it's more like 18,000 sq. feet, and we built a new three-car garage out-building with a gym above that, so it's actually closer to 20,000 sq. feet now. Plus we just put in a man-made lake which is totally awesome too. And yes, you don't want to know what it costs to maintain a place like that. My entire annual income right now would just barely cover one month's expenses, haha.

Still I guess nobody I knew growing up had a very small house. Most of my friends maybe 2,000 to 4,000 sq. foot houses I would say. Nothing enormous but certainly they were not small. I saw how they live over in Korea when I had a homestay family and the entire place had to be like 800 sq. feet for a family of 4, it was just shocking. The smallest bedroom isn't as big as my walk-in closet back home, I wish I were joking.

If you wanted to say that a family of 4 CAN fit into a 1,500 sq. foot place, well sure, but if you say "ample space," I take issue with that. I don't consider my 920 sq. foot box to be ample space for me at all. In fact I consider it barely big enough to fit my things inside of and me at the same time. It's also a bit poorly designed as far as layout, IMO, but still it's just small. I really would like more like 1,500 to 2,000 sq. feet for me, that would be fantastic and plenty big enough for one person. But I guess in our family people were used to having privacy, I mean you can go to your area of the house and nobody is going to bother you there, you won't hear someone else in the living room or the dining room. Those areas are so far apart from the bedrooms there's never any issue with noise...
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
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I really don't get the large house thing. Why exactly would a family of 4 need more than 1,500 sq, what exactly do people do with the extra space other than store junk?

Having privacy? We are talking about families right?
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:13 AM
 
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Uhh, yeah, we are. Why would I want to be right next to my parents in the other room doing god knows what? Or have a room right next to my sister? Trust me the space is very useful. I cannot imagine growing up in a house that small, 1,500 sq. feet!? Good god, where do you put everything? I'm sorry that's just a weird concept to me.

Now if you said like 3,000 sq. feet, sure, that'd be ok. But come on, 4 people into 1,500 sq. feet, not even 400 per person. I'm living in a place a bit under 1,000 sq. feet and it's like a tiny little box that I'm trapped in, haha.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:27 AM
 
11,728 posts, read 23,513,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
Uhh, yeah, we are. Why would I want to be right next to my parents in the other room doing god knows what? Or have a room right next to my sister? Trust me the space is very useful. I cannot imagine growing up in a house that small, 1,500 sq. feet!? Good god, where do you put everything? I'm sorry that's just a weird concept to me.

Now if you said like 3,000 sq. feet, sure, that'd be ok. But come on, 4 people into 1,500 sq. feet, not even 400 per person. I'm living in a place a bit under 1,000 sq. feet and it's like a tiny little box that I'm trapped in, haha.
Maybe you have too much stuff.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:54 AM
 
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No I have too little stuff here, I have to store my film equipment in storage in Burbank, haha. There's not enough room here at all, I have a tiny little couch that seats two but you better be dating or trying to get in her pants. If I sat on this couch with a guy friend, it would be... awkward.

I am perpetually amazed though when I go to a neighbor's condo and they seem not to own anything at all. It's like hey there's a breakfast table and a lamp and... yeah. I don't get it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:18 AM
 
Location: state of procrastination
3,458 posts, read 3,439,873 times
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Personally I'm confused by LA real estate. There are so many cash investors out there messing around with the true "supply/demand" dynamics. There is also a lot of hidden inventory that the banks are not letting the average buyer see. I am holding off buying until our income goes to 500k in about 3 years, because in my opinion you can't get a good deal on a house unless you spend about 1.2-1.5 million. There might be a lot of pent up demand for mid-tier homes (i.e. 600k-800k) but these are mostly dilapidated and in need of more repairs. Not a great deal for a 1000-1500 sq ft house. For sure we can't afford anything now on our current 140k income. At least not in a nice neighborhood. I'm not sure if prices are going to come down much because there are so many rich people in LA. By looking at median income you are assuming people aren't renting - and most are... I hope it will come down though because it's definitely insane right now.

To answer the question about why anyone would need a 1500 sq ft house - they wouldn't usually - except that the homes are so poorly laid out in a lot of instances that 1500 sq ft feels like 1000. Right now we have 2 people crammed into a 700 sq ft apartment but it's nicely laid out so there is no problem. But when our kids come it's going to be bad.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,231 posts, read 9,878,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
Uhh, yeah, we are. Why would I want to be right next to my parents in the other room doing god knows what? Or have a room right next to my sister?
Oh I get it....its okay to be say 100 ft from your parents doing "god knows what" but not 20 ft. Wait...

A family that actually does activities and spends time with each other is going to use bedrooms for.....sleeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
Trust me the space is very useful. I cannot imagine growing up in a house that small, 1,500 sq. feet!? Good god, where do you put everything? I'm sorry that's just a weird concept to me.
More space for junk. I don't have junk, problem solved.
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