Hottest Neighborhoods in the US

The popular Real Estate website “RedFin” published the below information on the hottest neighborhoods in the United States and Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Glassell Park all made the list!

Rank Metro Area Neighborhood Listings Sales Price
1 Los Angeles Highland Park -48% +73% +31%
2 San Diego Mira Mesa -69% +48% +21%
3 Los Angeles Faircrest Heights -63% +17% +29%
4 Los Angeles Eagle Rock -54% +44% +11%
5 Bay Area Livermore -71% +13% +20%
6 Bay Area Willow Glen -60% +9% +32%
7 Los Angeles Glassell Park -64% +31% +17%
8 Chicago Logan Square -10% +94% +20%
9 Bay Area The Mission -29% +17% +80%
10 Seattle N. Maple Leaf -44% +15% +22%

“The housing market may be recovering nationwide, but the reality on the ground is sometimes more complicated than that,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “For 16 markets across the country, Redfin’s local real estate agents collaborated with our analytics team to identify the neighborhoods where we expect prices to rise the most this year, based on activity from about 10,000 active homebuyers, and data from more than more than 130,000 listings. The results surprised us: the hottest neighborhoods aren’t the well-known bastions of privilege. They’re once-gritty urban areas and far-flung suburbs with school districts on the rise. This is the surest sign that the recovery is broadening, and that home-buyers are venturing out to once-marginal areas hit hard when the bubble burst.”

Common Misconceptions About Buying a Home

My good friend and Mortgage Broker, Marty Prince, recently shared some of his wisdom that I thought was helpful enough to pass along.

  • You do not have to have perfect credit. You can get the best rates with a score of 640!
  • You don’t have to have tons of money for a down payment.
  • You can put as little as 3.5% down and get great rates. And, it can be a gift from a family member. The down payment on a $300,000 home could only be $10,500!
  • Owning your own home is affordable. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
  • A buyer of mine recently closed on a nice home in LA County with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 square feet and a nice yard for $320,000. The total payment is about $2100 per month. You pay that much in rent for a 3 bedroom home. And, when you own your own home there are significant tax benefits.

Take advantage of the great prices, great rates and the opportunity of owning your own home. Call me or message me with any questions or to sit down and get started on finding your dream home.

Top Five Concerns of Prospective Buyers

Thinking about buying a house? Too many problems and decisions in your way? Here are the top five “problem areas” and some advice on how to approach them:

1.  How do I boost my credit rating?

Financing is often the most confusing part of the buying process; it also happens to be the most important.  At the basis of this process is credit rating.  Buyers may know the importance of credit rating, but are often at a loss for how to interpret or improve it.

First determine your credit score.  There are many free resources to get access to your personal FICO score, like freecreditscore.com or annualcreditreport.com.  Once you have that in hand, then develop a plan for resolving your credit score or get in touch with a mortgage broker who can assist you in improving it.

If you think you need to boost your score, start with the low-hanging fruit, such as closing out old accounts, and disputing anything on the report that looks suspicious.  From there, work out advanced strategies, such as paying off certain high-interest debts.

2. How much home can I afford?

Buyers need to know how much home they can afford before they start looking seriously. If they don’t, both buyer and agent run the risk of wasting a ton of time.

There are many simple tools to use online to determine what mortgage you may qualify for. Further more, your agent or mortgage broker will be able to assist in determining a preliminary value that can get you started in looking in the correct direction.

3. What neighborhoods are best for me?

Once credit and price are squared away, the next thing that’ll be on your mind is one of the trickiest of them all: What neighborhood is best for me?

Why is this tricky? Helping buyers decided on a neighborhood can sometimes lead you to topics that agents are prohibited from discussing, due to Fair Housing laws.

The best way to address this issue is to discuss with your real estate agent, which criteria is important you you as the prospective buyer. A good real estate agent will be able to assist you in determining most of the important factors that go into determining the quality of the neighborhoods you are interested in. There are also other great resources like Trulia Local, which offers data on crime, schools, commute and other topics important to buyers.

4.  Is now really the best time to buy?

This is the one question every agent should should able to answer because it’s the best opportunity for us to show off our local market knowledge and expertise. The best way to answer this question is with data and information about the market conditions in your local area. Depending on which area you are looking in, there are easy ways to determine whether the market is dropping, staying steady or rebounding. A good agent should be able to analyze this information and present it in such a way that you feel comfortable moving forward.

5.  Which agent should I use?

Well that answer is simple: ME. Why waste time and words telling you to use another agent?

But seriously, a good agent should be able to answer all four of the above questions. If you are looking somewhere in or around the Eastside of Los Angeles (Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park and Los Feliz) then the staff at Silverwood Properties have got you back.

Please feel free to call or contact us with more information.

Amazing Investment Opportunity in Glassell Park-$890,000

 

You know I have made the point often, if I can help you get the jump on a property, handsome deals result. In a market as competitive as this one, other than being able to bring you a property that is not yet on the market, this is the next best thing. We have such an opportunity with this property right here, right now.

Specifics are as follows:

This is a 10 unit building for $890K. Two units are vacant. Doing minimal fix-up to the two vacant ones and renting them out you will have $9300/mo income. At 30% down you will be making a stunning (approx) 15.4% cash on cash return. However, the really smart play on this property – even better than the above – is as follows:

One of the “units” of this property happens to be a 2000 sq ft house that essentially sits on it’s own lot. At 27,000 sq ft of lot size, you should be able to easily get a ‘lot split’ on this property. Then, you spend – liberal estimate – $150K to upgrade the house, including a generous relocation fee to the tenants, and then sell the house for $550K (minimum) and recover your full down payment, and then some.

Note – This property has been overlooked because it sits in what used to be a gang area. Like much of this part of town, it is cleaning up rapidly, and is a ridiculously good buy that has simply been passed over due to obsolete considerations regarding location that no longer apply. There’s my two cents. If you’re interested, please feel free to call or message me.

Surprise: The Hottest Real Estate Area of Los Angeles

 

LA’s Hottest Real Estate Market

Ayn Rand, Leonardo DiCaprio, Steve McQueen, Babe Ruth, Jerry Rubin, Jazz legend, Art Pepper, Jack Webb (Dragnet), Frank Zappa and Jackson Pollack….

All lived in Echo Park, one of LA county’s most captivating communities.

A community that has quietly evolved over the last few years into the hottest real estate market in Los Angeles County.

There are several reasons for this:

To start, it is a charming community nestled among rolling green foothills and is a five minute drive to downtown LA, without using a freeway (can I get an amen?)

It is in close proximity to the exploding Northern section of downtown. This section of the city has experienced a cultural renaissance in the last decade with the development of the Art District, the Toy District, a transformed Little Tokyo, and vast array of bars, nightclubs and restaurants in the Center of Downtown. But it’s not just the nightlife.

Numerous high profile businesses have relocated their offices and headquarters to downtown: the architectural firm Gensler, Target, and Lucky Brand to name a few.

Sprinkle the landscape with culture – the Dorothy Chandler center for the performing arts, Disney Hall and downtown has come of age…and it’s all within 5 minutes of Echo Park.

Echo Park has the second largest park in L.A. – the 600-acre Elysian Park – within walking distance. Complete with hiking trails, wildlife and picnic grounds, the community was named one of the top 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2008 by the American Planning Association. It was chosen because of “…its historic architecture, breathtaking hillside topography, walkable and pedestrian-friendly streets and engaged residents who have worked hard to protect and preserve their community.”

Following on its history as the site of the original film industry, there has been an extraordinary influx of artists, musicians, writers, actors, animators and production people buying homes in Echo Park, giving the area a creative vibe it hasn’t experienced in decades.

Trendy new restaurants, cafes, clubs and shops have blossomed throughout Echo Park in recent years turning the area into the hippest, new eastside place to live.

Talented contractors and rehabbers have descended on Echo Park updating many of the classic homes in such a way as to maintain their vintage character and charm while bringing them into a 21st century functionality.

Large development and home building companies – some of the largest in the country – have now discovered Echo Park and are creating small townhome developments and other small lot sub-division projects. At the same time, the Echo Park Neighborhood Council is keeping them on a short leash to ensure they not sully or alloy the ambience of Echo Park.

There is no sign of any of this trend letting up anytime in the near future. It hasn’t matured by a long shot. Echo Park is simply the hottest real estate market in Los Angeles County.

Looking to Invest your Money into Real Estate? Here’s the Answer!

Whether or not the economy is on the rebound depends on who you listen to these days. But one thing is clear: investments that provide stable and handsome returns these days are rather rare. Which is why I am delighted to be able to continue to provide our clients with small, multi-family units that do just that.

These units provide:

a) cash flow

and

b) future upside.

Let’s be specific: My clients are enjoying approximately 11% cash on cash return from these multi-units. Cash on cash return means after factoring in the mortgage payment, property tax, insurance, and all of the other costs connected to purchasing and maintaining the property.

Add to the immediate return the fact that almost all of these properties are in good locations that are only getting better, have charm and character, and are in good condition (that or we negotiate a price reduction that allows for the new owner to get it into good condition.)

And remember, we have an “in perpetuity technical support” policy here at Silverwood Properties; meaning that you can call us, email us, or come visit us anytime you need any help or advice on any aspect of buying, managing, financing your income property, or managing tenants, or anything pertinent to these real estate projects.

We personally guide you through the whole purchase process, as well as bringing our expertise to the due diligence process.

If you have questions, please feel free to call or contact me. Let’s get your money making you even more money!

This New Listing Begs the Question: Are You Hip Enough?

Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bath in the heart of Angelino Heights

East Coast Sophistication in Historic Angelino Heights. Here is an expertly appointed California bungalow that showcases fine finishes and fixtures, complementing open and informal living, plus entertaining spaces. It’s been extensively remodeled and features a new kitchen, baths, built-ins and more. It also has a lower bonus workspace with direct access, which makes for an ideal studio. Convenient to blossoming Echo Park, Silver Lake  and downtown commercial and retail districts. A wonderfully warm and comfortable home all for the price of $799,000.