Six hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. But when looking for an Eastside home that’s priced at $600k or under, the search can prove challenging. The Eastsider turned to its sponsors in the real estate business to recommend neighborhoods and strategies for a couple with a pre-schooler who are housing hunting in that price range. Here’s what they came up with:
The Courtney + Kurt Real Estate Team at COMPASS generally agrees on the area east of the 5 Freeway
Courtney Smith & Kurt Wisner, Courtney + Kurt Real Estate @ COMPASSAs one of our buyer specialists, Anselm, writes: “I’ll take Montecito Heights. For a family looking for a house $600,000 or below, I would recommend the corridor along Griffin Ave towards Broadway between Montecito Heights and Lincoln Heights. There is the best value right now with the most upside. Both areas match the Highland Park template of a commercial corridor with good residential side streets.”
Alyssa, a listing expert, votes for Cypress Park: “The activity there has been decidedly less frenzied and you can still find a moderately sized house (that needs work) in an area which is ripe for growth in the next few years. There is a small commercial district on Cypress which hasn’t been picked over, and given the vast development on Figueroa and York in Highland Park, those storefronts may be next. Proximity to the LA River is also a big plus.”
Meanwhile, Rosemery, a buyer specialist, points to El Sereno as an ideal location: “There are pockets with great views of LA and areas with sweet tree lined streets. There’s also strong community among the residents and clients that purchased El Sereno have all commented on it and really like knowing their neighbors.”
Finally Geoff, another buyer specialist, explains his pick of Lincoln Heights: “It has walkability, commercial centers and is coming up. It’s also a traditionally family-oriented neighborhood. They’ll get more for their money.”
Cypress Park is coming up, and with being so close in, definitely has some good choices for a buyer willing to put in a little work.
Courtney Poulos, Acme Real EstateNELA has so many options for the 600K buyer! With real estate, there are always tradeoffs – condition, size, location. So the first question buyers should ask themselves is what would they be willing to either concede or improve after purchase? I find that if buyers are willing to put in a little elbow grease, they can ultimately meet more of their size and location desires (walkability, views, etc.).
600K can get you a small 2BR/1BA in Highland Park, or a 3BR/2BA in El Sereno. Montecito Heights definitely has some options in the 600K range, as does Hermon. Cypress Park is coming up, and with being so close in, definitely has some good choices for a buyer willing to put in a little work. You could get a 2 or 3BR with a backyard. The likelihood of it needing some improvements is high – prepare for some foundation work, roof work, plumbing/electrical work, and some cosmetic upgrades.
If I were representing these buyers, I would remind them that the market is competitive at this price point, so you have to play to win! There will be multiple houses that can meet their needs for the next 5-7 years, so I would tell them not to be afraid to fall in love with multiple homes! Use this first-time purchase to leverage against the next home. Buying a home, especially in this hot NELA market, is such a smart investment, especially at a 600K price point.
With a budget of 600K and a preschool ready child, we would suggest considering the areas of Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Mount Washington & El Sereno.
Darren Hubert & Joe Cloninger, Urban HillsidesPrice is one component of the home buying process, but your underlying values associated with the home and location are often the most important factors. A home purchase is a collaborative effort that yields stronger results with better communication and clear direction.
When considering a home a few things to think about are: work (from home or commute), lifestyle, neighborhood amenities, social connections, kids, space for visitors. Oh, and let’s not forget space for dogs or cats! Give yourself time to gather information and process thoughts to be ready to act. We suggest you get guidance early even if you are not a serious buyer yet. Good guidance always leads to future success.
If you want a move-in ready home with charm, then be prepared to maximize the square footage of a smaller home. Smaller homes work if they have good floor plans and good indoor/outdoor flow. Be creative and utilize outdoor destinations to expand livability.
With a budget of 600K and a preschool ready child, we would suggest considering the areas of Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Mt. Washington and El Sereno. Neighborhood schools are important to consider, but because enrollment is not limited to location anymore it does not have to be a deal breaker.
It’s not a perfect process and perceptions and priorities can change with market reality. Keep your priorities in perspective, stay adaptable, get good guidance and you’ll find the right home.
For $600,000 or less you could certainly find a two or even a three bedroom home or condominium in Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Solano Canyon, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights or East LA
Tracy Do, Tracy Do Real Estate | CompassFor a couple with a 3-year old, it will be difficult to find a home for $600,000 or less within the boundary of a highly-rated public school. The good news is that LA offers a wide range of charter and magnet schools, as well as independent schools including some reasonably-priced parochial options.
For $600,000 or less you could certainly find a two or even a three bedroom home or condominium in Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Solano Canyon, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights or East LA. You might have to live with one bathroom, but you can always do renovations down the line.
Considering a condo would be a way for this family to increase their number of bedrooms, bathrooms and interior space, the trade-off being they won’t get much yard space. Monterey Hills, for example, has a good supply of nice condos that are reasonably priced.
In terms of strategy, the key is to consider this home purchase as a step on the pathway to owning the home you always wanted sometime in the future. Too often people focus on a neighborhood they love but cannot afford. Buyers who are willing to compromise almost always benefit, and it certainly beats paying rent which these days is very expensive.
Who knows? You might love your new neighborhood and stay there forever. If not, you can live in the home for a period of time, build up equity, and its a roof over your head as well.