Million Dollar Listing L.A.

MDLLA (Part 2 of 5): House Hunting

MDLLA (Part 2 of 5): House Hunting

In Part 1, a home buyer from NYC finds her real estate agent in Los Angeles.

So we return to my NYC clients, and their Los Angeles house hunting checklist: French style prewar era home with 4,000+ square foot on a 30,000+ square foot lot at around $2M — a tall order to say the least. After corresponding back and forth for several weeks in anticipation of a family house hunting visit to Los Angeles, mom, dad, son, and baby on the way arrived. Over the course of three days, we viewed numerous houses all around town. They really liked one house we looked at, and after some consideration, they were ready to make an offer. Interestingly, the house was featured on Million Dollar Listing LA (this past season, Episode 9), listed by Josh Flagg. Sadly, it went into escrow the very day. But this dark cloud definitely had a silver lining — it allowed my clients to really understand property values and what their real preferences and needs were. The house located in the Los Feliz Oaks is in the Mediterranean style, but with fantastic and unusual Art Deco details, 4,700 square feet, and 5 bedrooms. It has a stunning backyard with a pool, but no views, on a 12,637 square feet lot, and was asking $3.495 million (The original stated budget was $2 million max). It had been on the market for quite a while, despite the very strong market.

You may be thinking that this house is a far cry on many levels from the original wish list described above and in Part 1, and you would be correct. However, my clients concluded from seeing this particular house that their dream house did not in fact have to be French style, sit on a 30,000 square foot lot, nor need a view. What it did need was to be located in Los Feliz, have exceptional architectural character, and be move-in ready. This was a huge step forward in satisfying a realistic house hunting checklist. As a real estate agent in Los Angeles, I always enjoy watching out-of-towners learn about our local market, as well as assess their own needs in a practical manner. And so they returned to New York, leaving me behind to continue the search, while they continued as well using the Internet. But finding potential properties meeting (even) their revised parameters were few and far between.

Then a fortuitous twist of fate occurred, albeit one that is actually not that uncommon. An amazing Los Feliz Mediterranean on Vermont Avenue that my clients had really wanted to see, but was in escrow when they visited, fell out of escrow and returned to the active market. The price was a whopping $3.85M — but the description sounded ideal, and the pictures made the yard look like a secluded resort, rather appealing to New Yorkers hoping to escape horrible winters. Having already that a more realistic budget to secure the type of house they wanted was in the $3M to $3.5M range, this house didn’t seem so far out of the realm of possibilities. Could we get the house for less? Yes, I felt we could, but in my opinion, not for under $3.7M.

To be continued…

David Lubell is a Licensed California Real Estate Agent (BRE# 01928231) with Keller Williams. Learn more about David by reading his bio. Reach out to him via email or call him directly at 323-272-3222.

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