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Old 08-15-2009, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,368 posts, read 2,992,095 times
Reputation: 1476

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Mt. Washington is a really nice neighborhood overall. It's really out of the way and a lot of streets are tiny and it can be a 15 minute drive up the hill in certain spots. Understand that certain areas will be a lot more convenient than others, and there will be houses in that neighborhood that will have a long drive up really narrow hills and then not have much of a view. Also beware that a lot of real estate agents will market nearby areas as "Mt. Washington" that are really not, and belong to neighboring areas that are not very nice at all. There's a real big variety in that neighborhood and you can find good deals, just understand that real estate agents market that area inappropriately very frequently. I would definitely keep it on your list if you don't have a problem with the fact that you have to drive everywhere and need to make a 10-20 minute round trip to get to anything. All that said, IMO it offers one of the best values in LA, and you have a chance of finding something decent for 400k there, depending on what counts as "decent" for you. We looked for a house up there at one point (we've stopped looking and are waiting for prices to fall) and the neighborhood had a really artistic vibe which sounds like would be something you'd be interested in.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:22 PM
 
9 posts, read 12,776 times
Reputation: 13
Any thoughts on Pasadena y'all? It looks like there are some fairly good prices there. I'm fairly informed about the nice/ not so nice parts. But if you can get a place in a somewhat decent neighborhood, do you think it's an area that would appreicate? From my point of view, I'd be able to afford 1,500 - 2,000 square feet in Pas. as opposed to 8-900 in Burbank, Glendale, or somewhere else a little nicer. Also, the lots are bigger and more spread out. I've heard that there's a good rental market there because of JPL, Caltech, and Old Pas. Schools / crime rates (according to lalife.com) look decent - certainly better than other areas I've been looking, like Echo Park and the valley.

Any thoughts? Thank you!!
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:45 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,954,180 times
Reputation: 6716
What part of Pasadena are you looking at? There are a lot of wonderful neighborhoods in Pasadena, but some pretty sketchy areas, too (although it sounds like you know that). But yes, Pasadena is overall a pretty desirable place, and I can't imagine that it will decrease in desirability. Since you mention schools, though, PUSD doesn't have a great reputation; there are some good Pasadena public schools, and I don't want to debate whether or not they deserve that reputation, but from a future sales perspective those with money (but not so much money that they're planning on automatically going private in any case) tend to gravitate towards the surrounding communities with better school reputations. As far as crime goes, that varies dramatically by neighborhood. Pasadena has some pretty rough parts, as well as some very, very ritzy and safe areas.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:42 AM
 
52 posts, read 201,826 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by meyia View Post
Hi everybody, thanks for all the advice. I've found this website very useful so far.

Here's my story:

I'm 25 years old, have 40 K in the bank, have been pre-approved for a 3-400,000 dollar mortgage, and I'm moving to L.A. next month. Absurdly, I'm moving from Detroit, where I can buy a mansion for 80 grand. Frusterating. Either way, I'm looking to move to a neighborhood where I will be able to afford to buy a 3 bdrm (I'm moving with a couple friends) as well as be in a cool area. When I visited last, I spoke with a Realtor who pointed me in the direction of a few areas like Valley Village, Atwater Village, Cerritos, and a couple others. I really didn't feel like there was a click with any of those spots though - I'm looking to be in an area where there's a sense of community and a significant amount of young people...my favorite that I saw was Silver Lake, but it seems like houses start around 5-600 K there. I don't want to buy a condo because of HOAs.
Thank you!
The best thing to do right now is rent.

1. Values are still dropping.

2. It gives you time to find the best place to buy until the market corrects itself.

Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:58 AM
 
52 posts, read 201,826 times
Reputation: 45
Like others have said. Why pay $300K for a house when it will likely be worth $270K in a year (or in a month) to get the $8K credit.

The real estate market has yet to correct itself. It is still a long way off. My broker friend has problems closing on his listings because the properties will not appraise at time of sale.

They appraise at the beginning of the transaction but short sales and foreclosures tend to take time to close and a second appraisal is called for due to time between closing and appraisal. The appraisal comes in below what the bank will lend and the deal is dead unless the price is dropped.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:59 AM
 
4,262 posts, read 9,018,227 times
Reputation: 3262
Rent.

You don't know what you want.

Will you really be able to afford $3K a month for housing? A 30 year mortage on a $400,000K place with 40K down plus insurance, property tax, and utilities will cost a little bit more than that. You need $100K a year plus and decent budgeting to afford that. Yes you can rent a room out, but in my recent experience, most of the people doing this are looking for places at $500 a month and that is very little income for the risk of renting to a person who can only afford $500 a month.

And the places you are looking at are more than $400K for a house anyway.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:00 AM
 
52 posts, read 201,826 times
Reputation: 45
You are coming to LA at a great time. Not only are home values dropping but rents are dropping as well. Perfect storm for you to live in LA, rent a place relatively cheaply, check out where/what you like and buy when the market corrects.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:22 AM
 
66 posts, read 136,725 times
Reputation: 46
Rent. Any 3 br/1 home in a decent part of Greater Los Angeles will still need work, as the housing stock here is older than many people from other parts of the country realize. If you blow 40K on a downpayment (not to mention closing costs, which could run another 5-10K), you'll have nothing left to say, put on a new roof, landscape, fix foundation problems, patch stucco, service AC, update electrical or plumbing, refinish floors and on and on and on. Owning a home in a SoCal inner-suburb can be great, as other than earthquakes, you don't really have to worry about weather damage, but again -- homes here are older than you'd think and they're gonna need some work.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:35 PM
 
Location: San Jose
1,044 posts, read 2,435,897 times
Reputation: 952
Quote:
Originally Posted by drshang View Post
I'll be honest...400k won't get you much in any decent, hip part of LA. You are priced out of Atwater for sure. Even Eagle Rock and Mt. Washington are out of your range unless you want to be in the worst parts of the neighborhood for a 3br, or in a house that's 900 sq ft and 2br 1 bath. Echo Park is also out of your range and that is considered transitional. Basically for 400k you're looking at some marginal neighborhoods in the SF Valley or a place like Highland Park if you want a SFH...or you are looking at a total fixer that will need a lot of work to be livable.
Ha, that's amazing. It was barely 10 years ago that you could buy a perfectly decent house in Atwater, Eagle Rock, or Mt. Washington for $150k. Highland Park had houses in some areas for less than $100k. I find it hard to believe that >$400k is sustainable in these neighborhoods over the long term.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,368 posts, read 2,992,095 times
Reputation: 1476
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbunniii View Post
Ha, that's amazing. It was barely 10 years ago that you could buy a perfectly decent house in Atwater, Eagle Rock, or Mt. Washington for $150k. Highland Park had houses in some areas for less than $100k. I find it hard to believe that >$400k is sustainable in these neighborhoods over the long term.
It's definitely not. Prices have a LONG way to fall still.
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