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Old 01-04-2012, 04:58 PM
 
12 posts, read 17,943 times
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First time home buyer looking to buy a single family residence instead of a condo. I want a rehabbed home non fixer for less than 325 -350k. People told me to check out Highland Park but looking at some of the recent sold listings these prices are getting scary all sold within a year.

Moderator cut: sorry, new users are not allowed to post links

My question for those familiar with the area or those homeowners in highland park. Are these prices anomolies and do the housing costs support living in the area? I've been told highland park was a rough neighborhood but in transition. Anyone know of alternate locations that are within my price range? El Sereno?

Also, someone told me to stay north of york and away from figueroa if buying a home in highland park. Is this true?

Thanks for the input.

Last edited by Count David; 01-05-2012 at 07:53 AM.. Reason: links removed
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:11 PM
 
4,262 posts, read 9,017,075 times
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All of the above is correct. Prices are no longer cheap in Highland Park.
Its going to be rough to find a home in your price range and specs.

I found these:

5906 BURWOOD Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90042 | MLS# S670548
5117 LINCOLN Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90042 | MLS# 11-547617

Not sure why this one was so inexpensive...its in a nicer part of El Sereno:

2227 THELMA Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90032 | MLS# S658182


But maybe thats what homes in El Sereno cost:

4401 JASPER St, Los Angeles, CA 90032 | MLS# F11043105

If I were you, I'd haunt the Redfin forum boards. Theres a number of posters that live in NELA and a few realtors that specialize in that area.

El Sereno is not the same type of neighborhood, but some areas are ok. It does suffer from a lack of inventory due to banks failing to foreclose on properties(ie, there are properties that should and eventually will available, but they are not for sale right now and likely still have the non paying mortgage holders residing in them).
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:46 AM
 
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Thanks John. It's insane seeing some of these homes go for 400-450k. I want to be close and central to all things nightlife etc.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: The Big Apple and Shytown and Miami and Dallas and Milwalkie and St Paul-Mineopolis n DCMV n WestBay
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Having lived in Highland Park (HLP) most of my life, and still often visit, there are pockets of Highland Park are really nice, quiet and safe compared to the heart. Generally speaking, north of York is nicer, especially up in the hills where these streets are dead ends, and the views are amazing. The area of Garvanza, especially bordering the richest parts of Pasadena are really nice, the area of Hermon bordering South Pasadena, the hills area near Mt. Washington, and the areas near Occidental college, the homes on the hill above HLP Arroyo Seco library called Mt. Angelus. The rest of HLP is on a block by block basis.

In the 90's, HLP had terrible gang and wannabe gang problems, and also spiked in burglaries. A lot of people put up window/door bars and fences, got big dogs, and don't have home security like ADT. These homes haven't taken them down even though the area isn't as bad, but the area still look scary because of it.

Most of the homes were built in the late 1920s and have problems of an older home, so unless the previous owners have remodeled and maintained the home, you'll need to do some work on it especially on electrical and plumbing. My parent's had to redo everything, especially the cheap, old 1950s kitchen cabinets.

You will also see lots of extensions done to these older homes which were mainly 2bed/1bath, as well as converted garages. This can increase the prices. Some lot sizes of some homes are quite large and have been rezoned. That is why you'll see a large old Craftsman homes next to an apartment buildings on some streets like Aldama and Mesa near York and also near the Gold Line station.

I think Highland Park can be a nice place to live. While you see many homes in the $300K range, but there are homes in the above $400K because people have remodeled them or they are larger lots or quieter and better locations. HLP has a great location with a less than 15 minute drive to Glendale Glendale Galleria,Downtown LA and Old Town Pasadena on surface streets. You rarely get any major traffic during rush hour on surface streets, except towards the 110 parkway onramps.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:11 PM
 
1,714 posts, read 3,260,791 times
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I don't know--HLP still seems like a fad at this point.

You never know when the hipsters are going to jump ship and move to another "hip" area.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Mt Washington: NELA
1,162 posts, read 2,965,975 times
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Hipster, schmipster- who cares? I agree with saybanana. Been here in Mt Wash/HP for 15 years or so. Love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genjy View Post
I don't know--HLP still seems like a fad at this point.

You never know when the hipsters are going to jump ship and move to another "hip" area.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:32 PM
 
4,262 posts, read 9,017,075 times
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One bit of caution....

If you're buying to hold on for a while, that is fine. What I mean by a while is 10+ years.

The reason is this....there is an interesting dynamic occuring in HP home sales....

There is a huge disparity in price between fixed up places and those that are not fixed up. This is because cash "flippers" are buying at very low prices, fixing them, then putting them for sale at a substantial profit margin. For instance in the Lincoln Ave. home I linked above, that was purchased by the flipper at $200K, initially relisted at $389K, then sold at $349K. But theres no way in heck that the flipper put $150K into that house, nor even $100K. These fixed homes are being bought almost exclusively on 3.5% down FHA backed mortgages where the buyers have very little to put down(and hence would not have enough to fix up the home even if they purchased it at half the price).

This of course is not sustainable and I anticipate at minimum a situation where prices stagnate for a very long period of time, but more likely the market in HP, even if gentrified, will slowly decline for a while.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:09 PM
 
12 posts, read 17,943 times
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I noticed that too John based on reviewing the "sold" homes on redfin.

You can call me "hipster" but I'm drawn to HP because I feel that it is an up and coming neighborhood. I feel what is going on Echo park is different from Highland Park because it is somewhat of slow yet steady gentrification process going on.

There are some neat shops restaurants, bar, etc opening up on York Blvd and close enough to Eagle Rock, Silver Lake etc.

It's just insane that the mark up these flippers are getting for these homes that they bought for 200k. What they are doing is good for the neighborhood since these properties are being rehabbed and would have stayed vacant and abandoned if they didnt flip them I guess.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:11 PM
 
12 posts, read 17,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genjy View Post
I don't know--HLP still seems like a fad at this point.

You never know when the hipsters are going to jump ship and move to another "hip" area.
Hipsters haven't jumped shipped in Silverlake and they are moving in droves to Echo park. Do hipsters really jump ship once the gentrifcation stops?
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:55 PM
 
1,714 posts, read 3,260,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecitykid88 View Post
Hipsters haven't jumped shipped in Silverlake and they are moving in droves to Echo park. Do hipsters really jump ship once the gentrifcation stops?
Silverlake has always been nice. It was and still is a yuppy area. Even if all the hipsters leave, it will still be cool.

One gentrified area I know that has been on the decline is Melrose. It's no longer hip and cool like it used to be 15-20 years ago. The same type of crowd that used to populate Melrose is now in Echo Park.

Another area is Westwood Village--It was a hopping place, but now it's no longer that hopping.

Downtown Pomona used to be pretty cool, but I never experienced it first-hand. I heard it's making a comeback, though.
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