Stretch Your Dollar: Head East

dollar.jpgWhile home prices have definitely been coming down across the board—no surprise there—it’s interesting that the relative value of areas is maintaining the status quo. And it’s determined by how far east you are willing to look.

For example, a Silver Lake house is still more expensive than a similar home in Echo Park, which is still more expensive that its counterpart in Eagle Rock. Los Feliz still seems to outprice them all (except for select, resevoir-viewing pockets of Silver Lake). This is my own unscientific ranking system for neighborhoods, based on not a lot more than having lived in the area for a good while and seen how buyers (and those already living here) tend to think about the hierarchy of the area. In general, it seems like Los Feliz and Silver Lake are at the top of the heap: There are parts of Los Feliz that are downright swanky (like North of Los Feliz Blvd.), but other areas, like the Franklin Hills, are pretty much on par with most of Silver Lake. Echo Park comes in 3rd in desirability. Again, there are pockets of Echo Park that command more premium prices, but in general, its still a rougher-around-the-edges area where the homes are still being fixed up and some are on the smaller side. Eagle Rock makes it 4th on my list—I know a lot of people will disagree: This is an up-and-coming area with lots of charming houses and a neighborhood feel in some parts. But it’s where people started going when Echo Park prices went up, or when they were just looking for more for their money. Personally, I prefer Eagle Rock to Echo Park, but price-wise, Echo Park is still holding more value. So here’s an example at the $600,000-$700,000 price point:

  • Los Feliz (90027): $675,000 will get you this Spanish fixer on a somewhat busy street (Talmadge). I actually like this house—it’s got potential, but it is in need of a lot of love. And although it’s on Talmadge, it’s above street level.
  • Silver Lake (90039): This one is a short-sale, listed at $689,000. It’s a 3/2 with 1,500 square feet and is in the Silver Lake hills. Just by moving east a bit, your dollar now gets you a completely re-done, move-in ready home.
  • Echo Park (90026): This beautiful house is listed at $759,000, but I picked it anyway because it’s been steadily dropping in price since its April/ $839,000 listing. It’s also on a very nice street, way, way up in the hills—it feels extremely secluded and private up here. It’s a 3/2 with 1,200 square-feet, but a lot of outdoor space. It’s actually expensive for the area, but when you compare this house to our Los Feliz pick, you can see how moving east buys you much, much more. But, let’s not forget Eagle Rock:
  • Eagle Rock (90041): Here’s where your dollar goes the farthest. Check out this English Tudor 3/2 with 1,759 square-feet in a desirable neighborhood—for $699,000.
  • Anon

    Look any more east and you are looking at Pasadena, where your dollars start shrinking.

  • carlivar

    Not really — if you head right up the 210 you hit the crappy parts of Pasadena and then into Altadena.