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Old 09-30-2020, 09:20 AM
8 posts, read 11,027 times
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Hey everybody, I'm currently considering a move from Southwest LA (Baldwin Hills/Windsor Hills/View Heights) to Northeast LA (Highland Park/Eagle Rock etc.) I have always loved the architecture of that area and the mature trees and honestly I just want to experience a different part of LA as I have been living in the Southwest part of town for quite a while. I currently have a small 2 bedroom 2 bath and would be looking for at least the same. Budget wise $850k - $950k max. I drive to the Highland Park area every Sunday but am hoping to focus on best overall places for safety (first priority, as I am single & over 50), walkability, friendliness, and of course budget. I am concerned about "knowing what I don't know" so I thought I'd ask the experts here. In my area of town I could tell someone exactly where to search/where to avoid/all of those good nuances having lived in the area as long as I have so am hoping to find similar help for Northeast LA. Thank you all!

Last edited by LAX2CMH; 09-30-2020 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:44 AM
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I'm not a northeast LA expert, but have spent enough time in the area and known folks who've lived there, so I'll offer my two cents.

Northeast LA as a whole has gotten safer with a fair amount of gentrification especially in Highland Park. But in terms of safety, walkability, etc., my top pick in northeast LA would be Eagle Rock in and around the area by the intersection of Eagle Rock Blvd. and Colorado Blvd, or generally, anywhere above Colorado Blvd. especially by Hill Dr. as long as you're not too close to the freeway unless that doesn't bother you. Definitely one of the more charming pockets of northeast LA with quaint, tree-lined streets and homes with nice architecture. Nevertheless, at this point, I don't think you can find anything under $900K now in that area. Perhaps you can find something in the area between Colorado Blvd. and Yosemite Dr. or around Occidental College, which is still generally fine, but I'm not sure it's worth it at this point. Maybe 10 years ago when you were able to buy homes at 30-50% less, but I think the area has become a bit overhyped.

The next best part of northeast LA is probably Mt. Washington. However, I don't like that the areas surrounding it are pretty run-down. Plus, with all the windy streets and homes that are quite vertical so to speak, not really my cup of tea. At current prices, nowhere close to worth it in my book.
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:38 PM
Location: Norteh Bajo Americano
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Eagle Rock is safer especially in the areas along Colorado Blvd from Glendale to Pasadena. The area is most single family homes of middle class family types. Yosemite Blvd from Figueroa St to Eagle Rock is a secondary street with many schools and many multifamily apartments. I find it to be somewhat more sketchy when there are too many apartments plus parking is a nightmare. I would avoid buying near a lot of apartments but it depends if the apartments are nice looking and not old, outdated, with a lot of bars. You find more apartments on the southern part of Eagle Rock Blvd going towards York Blvd. You find less small cute shops and more strip malls with low end stores and fast food places. The areas up the hills and towards the college are mostly single family homes are nice. I love the area near occidental college because of the oak trees that change color in fall/winter that looks very east coast. Really anywhere in the hilly parts of Eagle Rock are solid. Eagle Rock generally has good schools for NELA and it really improved after the new high school in Cypress park was built. Many students in poorer areas where bussed to Eagle Rock Middle/high school and made the school and area less desirable for LAUSD.

Highland Park is the other large area of NELA and a major center of gentrification. Eagle Rock was generally a nicer area so it didnt have a huge dramatic change due to gentrification compared to Highland Park. Highland Park is not all the same. The major streets are Figueroa Street from the Eagle Rock Border south of Yosemite all the way down to Cypress park at Pasadena Ave. And York Blvd from the 110 freeway to Eagle Rock around where Troys Burger is located near Occidental College. The subneighborhood called Garvanza which is east of Figueroa St and north of York Blvd is probably the nicest area especially as it transitions to the expensive areas of Pasadena. Parts were destroyed and built with cheap apartments decades ago, but a lot of really nice homes in the area but expensive.
For the past 15 years, the center of gentrification is the area along York Blvd especially along Ave 50-54? and homes in north york up the hills were more desirable. The area is mostly single family homes. Then it stretched to south York which is still mostly single family homes. you find more apartments especially as you drive towards York Blvd along streets like Aldama, Mesa Ave, behind the police museum. The higher up the hill the nicer the views get and more expensive the homes. The views are great but you do get less usable land compared to the flats, also less cars driving though. anyway, you do find a lot more helicopters and police cars and crime near some of these apartment areas.
The intersection of York and Figueroa has a lot of fast food places and 99 cents store and a lot of homeless. most are harmless and when it gets cleaned up, they move back in a week or 2 later and is a mess all over again especially the veterans flag pole area or parking lot near the seniors center. Starbucks is there and was voted the most depressing Starbucks when it first opened, then the uproar forced it to get remodeled. North Figueroa north of York doesnt have much activity. A lot mom pop type places, not a lot of commercial stores but more homes and schools. South Figueroa past the library and recreation park and train tracks is the main heart of Highland Parks commercial street. From Ave 50-Ave 60 is long stretch of commercial stores, old iconic buildings, the highland theater and the new center from gentrification. The Metro station is there on Ave 58. The weekly farmers market. Banks. Council district office. You find a mix of chain stores and independent stores. The homes tend to be larger and older. I think in the past middle class families lived closer to the main streets close to the public transit before cars. The working class lived up the hills. Anyway it was reversed today. The flats are less desirable and the hills are more desirable. This part of highland park is the least desirable. A lot of apartments. A lot of renters who dont take as much pride compared to homeowners because their house is their investment. monte vista st and figueroa street are sometimes the borders of gang conflict. You often see a lot of tagging and sometimes occasional shootings. It has improved in the past 10-20 years but still the occasional messiness. Because the area is improving, people are moving into the area despite the risks. I personally wouldnt live this part of Highland Park or even down the hill along the 110 freeway. It might be a lot nicer in 10 years as the area improves but now it is meh. The great thing is the Metro station and is often busy if commuters and in the future being near a metro station is really a good thing.
Hermon is the on the other side of 110 freeway and south of South Pasadena City. It is generally quieter area with a small strip mall with a market. There is a large park with a dog park and tennis courts. There are homeless in the area especially along the freeway/riverside. Because it isn't near a major street with shops, you have to walk to Figueroa street to get there.
Mt Washington is a very nice secluded hilly area. No commercial area. Mostly all single family homes. Middle class and above area.
Cypress Park and Glassell Park have not had the gentrification of highland park. No nice cute shops/restaurants. There are flat and hilly areas. Not super familiar with the areas too much, but home prices are rising mainly due to the desirability of EAgle Rock, Highland Park and Mt Washington minus all the benefits. The area of the high school in Cypress park is building a lot of homes. The area east of the River is to be made into a giant part/wetland. Possibly a new Metrolink station ? The Metro station is too far south closer to Lincoln Heights despite the name called Lincoln/Cypress station.

So overall I would pick Eagle Rock closer to the action along Colorado Blvd near Eagle Rock Blvd.
Second I would pick around York Blvd especially north York but the few streets south york are getting better.
Garvanza and Hermon are nice but you are not near the shops/restaurants.

Other things to note especially in Highland Park. There are still a lot of working/middle class homeowners in highland Park that own there homes but are not rich enough to make their homes really nice like remove the bars, fences, renovated. But many homes on sale often redo the entire homes with new roofs,new drought tolerant gardens, replace wire fence with wood fence, remove bars/gates and put in home security systems. The tend to have older cars versus the new people with Prius, Tesla, BMW cars. Places like Eagle Rock, Garvanza and homes in the high hills never had crime issues to put gates/bars and often had home security systems. So if you see dilapidated looking homes, it doesnt tell the whole story of who the neighbors area. I think eventually in 10-20 years most of the area will have almost every home be turned over and renovated as the people retire or die.
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:37 PM
8 posts, read 11,027 times
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THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! This is very helpful information. I'm so torn at this point but your very detailed post helps me narrow my focus. So, Eagle Rock first - unfortunately so far prices seem out of reach (all over $900k). And I'm not up for a fixer upper. Mount Washington and Highland Park next. It would probably help if I had a (honest) realtor who specializes in the area so that's probably my next focus. Thank you again.
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Old 10-05-2020, 06:42 AM
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,786 posts, read 98,920,296 times
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Originally Posted by LAX2CMH View Post
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! This is very helpful information. I'm so torn at this point but your very detailed post helps me narrow my focus. So, Eagle Rock first - unfortunately so far prices seem out of reach (all over $900k). And I'm not up for a fixer upper. Mount Washington and Highland Park next. It would probably help if I had a (honest) realtor who specializes in the area so that's probably my next focus. Thank you again.
Good luck, yes, Eagle Rock has always been more expensive and yes, more desirable than Highland park, but of course there is reason for this as I am sure you know.
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