El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Los Angeles Real Estate: "Do You Come Here Often, Baby ?"

Blissful Post War America at home - 811 W. 28th Street, Los Angeles CA - 1948

1264 W. Adams Blvd, Los Angeles CA - 1949

“For what you are paying in rent you could be owning” is what she said to me. The Real Estate Agent’s equivalent of the used car salesman’s “Are you willing to drive it off the lot today”, this opening line from a real estate agent of the 21st century failed to impress me. “Have you heard the Beatles broke up?” is what I wanted to say in return, but my mother raised a gentleman so I refrained from doing so. I recently visited a development of lofts in my neighborhood that have largely remained vacant since they went on the market over a year ago and I got the cliché opening line by the agent hosting the open house. The puzzling thing was that she did not know who I was, what my income or credit rating was, if I was employed at all, and more importantly what I was paying in rent, but she was willing to make the bold statement to capture my attention. After some small talk I made her a counter offer; if she could get me into this loft for exactly what I was paying in rent, then I would sign on the dotted line right there. The fine print to my counter offer was that my mortgage payment of “equal rent value” would have to include everything from the non-tax deductible home association dues, to the home owner’s insurance to the accrued property taxes, all at a very competitive interest rate. In reality when you add it all up, with a conservative 20% down payment my monthly housing costs would have more than doubled in exchange to live in half the space, without a yard, and share walls with neighbors that I could never get away from if they annoyed me in exchange for a very pricey loft with very little investment potential.

Don’t misunderstand me, selling Real Estate is difficult work and home ownership is very desirable and beneficial under the right personal and economic circumstances but to the millions of “Average Joes” living in Los Angeles, home ownership remains an Elusive Eden. With plummeting home prices, a double digit unemployment rate, and a failing economy straight out of a John Steinbeck novel, home ownership still remains out of reach for millions of Southern California residents. The American Dream was once to own your own home, but nowadays the American Dream is just to be able to sleep in one for the night.

“For what you are paying in rent you could be owning” she said to me, or was it “Do you come here often ?”, “What’s your sign baby ?” or “If I told you that your body is incredible would you hold it against me ?”. Opening lines have their place at work and play, they just need to be rewritten every century or so to keep the chase interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I am Martha Jackson. I just went through your blog and I really enjoyed reading it. I am a webmaster of few websites and carry the same subject related site as yours. I think it might be of interest to your visitors. As you know to maintain a good PR and traffic, a healthy and normal link exchange is important. So, I am interested in exchanging few links with your blog. It will be advantageous for us if we participate in some good link exchange opportunities with each other. If you agree, we can do “article exchanges” as well as “guest post”. I can add your links within the content and try to give you some extra Google Values.

    If you are interested, please send me an email at martha.jackson815[at]gmail.com. I have some good offers that you will definitely like.

    Waiting for a quick and positive reply.


    Martha Jackson