Franklin Hills aka Skunk Hill

skunk.jpgThis week’s LA Times real estate section highlighted the eastside neighborhood of Franklin Hills—which just happens to be the little knoll I call home. The article has locals describing the area (which is between Los Feliz proper and Silver Lake) as “kind of a secret,” and “quiet.” I’d agree with both, but it’s also a pretty trendy area, just up the hill from Prospect Studios, where Grey’s Anatomy is filmed. That means we get our fair, or unfair, share of Hollywood types. In the past few years, it’s turned from a neighborhood of late-model sedans of overseas origin to streets peppered with BMW’s and even a few dreaded Hummers. Take it back to the westside, I say.

Anyway, ranting aside, Franklin Hills is a secret gem, and has been somewhat immune to the recent price drops. It’s a neighborhood that dates back to the days when the original Disney studios where just down the slope, and the area was called Skunk Hill. Lots of those critters still roam the streets, along with a coyote or two.

It’s also walking distance (OK, there are hills to contend with) to Hillhurst and Vermont, where you can find great restaurants like Puran’s and Little Dom’s (a new addition). And there are kids—lots of families in fact. Maybe, as the article says, there were more once upon a Disney-day, but the past few years have seen tons of tykes taking over the streets, BOB strollers and all. It’s also a really social area—so social my neighbor actually borrowed an egg tonight to bread her pork chops. And don’t get me started on the Poop Deck—another neighbor’s backyard bar. Here are some listings from the area:

2429 Lyric Ave. List price: $1.375 million. Days on Market: 192

This is a beautiful new construction, and huge—though it fits on the lot well and doesn’t seem crowded. It’s on the back side of the hill, so the view is east towards the foothills, though it looks like you can also see Griffith Park Observatory.

1838 Deloz. List price: $919,000. Days on Market: 32

This sixties-era 3/2 is cozy at 1,374 square-feet, which may be why it’s already had one price drop (from $939,000) after just over a month on the market. It had a few open houses, but now it’s by appointment only. Last sale is in 2005 for $875,000, so no huge profits going on here.

3977 Clayton. List price: $949,000. Days on Market: 158

Here’s one of those instances where the listing photos don’t tell the whole story. This is a really charming, just redone farm house at the edge of Franklin Hills. Sounds great, but someone recently built a monolithic McMansion right in the back yard—literally within feet of the back wall of this house. If that isn’t a bother to you, this is a cute one.

1940 Hollyvista. List price: $1.525 Days on Market: 2

This really charming Spanish isn’t even in Redfin listings yet. It was last purchased two years ago, and the new owners just put in landscaping. It’s also on a double lot and has enough flat space for a pool—a rarity in the hills. It’s 1953 square feet and last sold for $1.247 in 5/2006.
And here are a few recent sales:

3993 Clayton. Sold for $955,500. Sale date: 1/2008

This 3/2 was built in 1956 and is 1,481 square feet.

3916 Melbourne. Sold for $744,769. Sale date: 1/2008

This 1,800-square-foot Spanish-esque is a 3/4 that was a short sale. I wrote about it earlier.

  • sfvrealestate

    This is off-topic, but: do you recall when the strip of LA between the 5 FWY and the LA River going downtown was called Frogtown because of the vast number of amphibians? Let’s hear it for urban wildlife!

  • Anita Chabria

    I didn’t recall, but you are right! Here’s a great site that gives a brief history of the name, for those of you who want to learn more about what lurks (or used to) in that lovely drainage ditch/river of ours:

  • Buyers Advocates Melbourne

    Could not agree more, spot on mate!