GAMING THE SYSTEM: ARE HISTORICAL PRESERVATIONISTS ADDING TO THE HOUSING CRISIS?

With an uptick in the activities of local residents and preservationists seeking landmark designations to protect buildings it begs the question, are they for real?  Or are these NIMBY’s (not in my backyard) seeking Historical-Cultural monument status simply to block new development? Often the claims of architectural significance or their associations with historical events are a stretch, as in the case of the animal hospital at 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. that delayed the Melrose Triangle project for years.  With a worsening housing crisis, perhaps it is time to address the legitimacy of the process and make some changes to prevent these groups from blocking new housing development. Click here to read more Continue reading

REAL ESTATE EYE CANDY

The spectacular NYC loft of singer-songwriter Robert Ellis takes the art of luxury loft living to new heights.   Click here to read more Continue reading

DESIGNER DON’TS: THE WORST DESIGN TRENDS OF OUR TIME

Remember fuzzy toilet seat covers?  Or how about avocado green fixtures?  Don’t forget the floral chintz fabrics that were so busy they gave you a headache.  Talk a walk down memory lane with the results of this survey from Samsung listing the most hated design trends from our time….and some of the best loved too. Click here to read more Continue reading

CELEBRITY MOVES

This week’s most extraordinary celebrity listing is the Sunset Strip home of music mogul Russell Simmons.  Perched on a street-to-street lot and hidden behind hedges and gates for complete privacy, the asking price for this spectacular 5 bedroom, 6 ½ bath Spanish style home is $8.25 million.  Pretty phat deal, don’t you think? Click here to read more Continue reading

FUN FOR THE MCMANSION HATERS

I was doing my weekly research of all things real estate and I came across this fun blog for haters of those haughty houses commonly know as Mcmansions.  Written by Katie Wagner, a 24 year old with a keen eye and a pithy style, this blog mocks those big, ostentatious homes with humor and intelligence (she does hold a degree in architectural acoustics from Johns Hopkins University.)  Grab a glass of wine, sit back and be prepared to laugh…and learn! Haughty house haters unite! Click here to read more Continue reading

MORTGAGE MONDAY: BUILDING YOUR RENTAL PORTFOLIO

Passive income and value appreciation make real estate rental properties a smart addition to your investment portfolio. Ownership of rental properties is a key strategy for diversification and building wealth.  If you’re ready to jump in and kick off your real estate kingdom but you’re afraid that you can’t qualify for your purchase loan or are intimidated by the loan process, think again.      Today there are attractive options for borrowers seeking to buy multiple properties. Landlords, start your engines…… Click here to read more Continue reading

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

For-profit developers are building affordable and homeless housing that will provide housing faster and for less than prevailing nonprofit programs.  At the same time they are offering investors the opportunity to earn modest returns while participating in resolving LA’s rampant homeless crisis. It’s a win-win solution with great potential and an investment you can feel good (really good) about. Click here to read more Continue reading

CELEBRITY MOVES

Katy Perry has made some bold moves in the LA real estate market including her recent purchase of, and court battle for, a Los Angeles Catholic convent.  But it seems she has hit a snag as she cuts the selling price again for her 2.3 acre Outpost Estates home in the Hollywood Hills. Still,it is hard to deny that Ms. Perry has an eye for extraordinary properties and exceptional design. Click here to read more Continue reading

ONE TO WATCH – THE GHOST TOWN OF CERRO GORDO

A group of Los Angeles investors representing some of the biggest names defining today’s cultural zeitgeist have purchased the 19th century mining town of Cerro Gordo located outside Lone Pine, CA.   With promises to maintain the historic nature of the property while updating it with modern amenities the group plans to reintroduce the 300 acre site to the public with accommodations, special events, theater and more.   If their combined backgrounds with innovators including Hulu, American Apparel and The Whiskey Bars give us any indication, Cerro Gordo may become the next center for youth culture drawing Coachella-like crowds to the Inyo Mountains.  Investors….start your engines! Click here to read more Continue reading

THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION

A million dollars may not buy what it used to when it comes to real estate.  But surprisingly, in some markets homes over $1 million are still pretty rare.  Not so in California, home to four of the top ten cities where these expensive homes proliferate.  For more on the breakdown of million dollar homes by market read on…and remember to click on the “full list here” link at the end of the article. Click here to read more Continue reading