Do you love looking at beautiful features of historic homes and thinking about how to incorporate the authentic, vintage pieces into your own humble abode? Or perhaps you bought a Craftsman or a Spanish Colonial Style home and you are looking to replicate these rustic (and oh-so-chic) details in your property. Even when you have a new construction home you can still find unique elements that turn a cookie cutter house into a dream home.
But where do you find these unique elements? These vintage, antique and one-of-a-kind items?
You’ll need to to turn to architectural salvage yards to find authentic elements that turn your home into a unique masterpiece. Fortunately for us, there are a number of architectural salvage outlets in Los Angeles for scoring the perfect find! Some examples of architectural salvage yards for hunting down decor gems are:
Olde Good Things
Prop stylists and set decorators have been frequenting this Los Angeles gem for ages. Boasting a warehouse of over 100,000 square feet, there’s a good possibility that Olde Good Things will have what you are looking for. While well known for its vast architectural library of amazingly restored and rescued pieces, you can’t miss its unique mix of up-cycled furniture and quirky objects d’art. ogtstore.com
Gayle’s Architectural Salvage
Located in Pasadena, Gayle’s has an extensive inventory of architectural salvage antiques including mantels, lighting, iron work, plumbing accessories, builders hardware, and furniture representing the Arts & Crafts, Spanish Revival, Art Nouveau,Victorian and Mid Century Modern periods. However, they are best known for their extensive stained glass window collection. Insider’s tip – be sure to ask if they have anything in storage! pasadenaarchitecturalsalvage.com
Big Daddy’s Antiques
With two California locations (Los Angeles & San Francisco) Big Daddy’s is routinely on the tip of everyone’s lips as a must-stop recommendation if you are looking for unique architectural and salvage finds. A mix of one-of-a-kind antiques and reproductions from European, Asian, and North American markets. facebook.com/BigDaddysAntiques
Rose Bowl Flea Market
The Rose Bowl Flea Market has been the most well-attended flea market in the entire country. For over 50 years, the market has been known for its uniqueness, quality of vendors, and great shoppers of all ages. The Rose Bowl flea market is considered an outdoor mega event and it is held the second Sunday of each month. Rgcshows.com
If you are interested in selling or buying a historic home and thinking about incorporating authentic, vintage pieces into your property. We, at Aspire Los Angeles, would like to assist you on this matter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to connecting you with the right agent on our team.
Are you ready to sell your house? How exciting! Selling a home entails a whole lot more than just planting a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn or uploading a few photos of your home. Here are some tips on what we at Aspire Los Angeles would do to get your house ready before it goes on the market. These are ideas we use to increase the odds of receiving a great offer.
Hire a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home can seem to be a daunting task, and entail more than most homeowners think. But hiring the right agent at the start can make it a whole lot easier. With the insight from a real estate agent you’ll be able to have someone by your side that has your best interests at heart and guide you in the right direction. Here are 4 Reasons To Choose Aspire Los Angeles As Your Real Estate Firm. As an experienced real estate firm we will look out for your best interests, plan in advance to determine the best time to sell, maximize your proceeds and help alleviate your stress. Based on your needs we’ll match you with the right agent on our team.
Identify a game plan
Designing a home selling plan with one of our real estate agents is key to putting you in the best position for the most successful home sale. We’ll estimate your potential selling price, your costs and proceeds, and we’ll set a timeline to sell your home and get you connected to vendors we’ve worked with and trust. Vendors such as landscapers, painters, contractors, stagers, etc.
Once we’ve selected a target date to present your home to the market, we’ll create a timeline to make sure we have your house prepared on time. We’ll schedule all the pre-listing appointments like the cleaning crew, staging, photographer, videographer, etc. prior to the launch date, plan our showings and open houses. Though not always mentioned on the timeline, our agents will guide you through offer reviews, counter offers, and the inspection and appraisal period. We’ve got you covered.Once we’ve selected a target date to present your home to the market, we’ll create a timeline to make sure we have your house prepared on time. Prior to the launch date, we’ll schedule all the pre-listing appointments like the cleaning crew, staging, photographer, videographer, etc. We also plan the showings and open houses. Though not always mentioned on the timeline, our agents will guide you through offer reviews, counter offers, and the inspection and appraisal period. We’ve got you covered.
Determine the best ways to prep
You can lean on us for expert advice to make the prepping process easier and more profitable for you. Some of the things we’ll discuss include: improvements, cleaning, making repairs, decluttering, cleaning and staging. Preparations such as painting, repairs, renovations, and general sprucing up, but we will also take care of a marketing plan and make sure your home’s best features are displayed in their best light. Once we’ve discussed what should be done, we’ll hire the right team to execute the plan.
If you are interested in buying property or selling your home. We, at Aspire Los Angeles, would like to assist you in this matter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to connecting you with the right agent on our team.
So you are planning on moving to the city of Angels? The center of the film industry, fame & fortune but also miles and miles of beaches, nature, city parks, a wide array of amazing architecture and the best weather!
With a population close to 4 million, Los Angeles is one of the best places to live in the state of California. People from all over the world are moving to Los Angeles with its pristine natural landscape, amazing weather, never ending opportunities, and an abundance of things to do.
Are you in for a smooth transition? Here are some tips you’d like to consider before relocating to LA and diving into the California way of life.
Neighborhoods are really a big deal
The best neighborhoods in Los Angeles are among the most desirable in Southern California. Beach-side beauty, soaring skyscrapers, and picket-fence suburban living, we’ve got it all! Here are some examples. Culver city is located really central, has a great local town feel and shopping areas, as well as parks and schools. Los Feliz, located almost in the middle of the city, has easy access to Griffith Park and all its hikes and trails, as well as Vermont and Hillhurst, the local streets full of restaurants and shops. Downtown LA, where architecture meets walkability. Art deco high-rises to modern skyscrapers, nightlife. Downtown LA really has it all. Our favorite neighborhoods, Jefferson Park & West Adams with its gorgeous historic homes. A mix of Edwardian and Art Deco homes but the most prominent style to be found are Craftsman-style bungalows. Also centrally located and with a great community feeling.
Traffic is our way of life
No matter what neighborhood you choose to live in, traffic becomes part of your daily planning and routine. Before buying a home or looking for an apartment, make sure to factor in commuting time. It might be worth the extra money to live closer to work and essential amenities.
Unlike many other metropolitan areas, nature is all around in LA. Whether you love hiking through the mountains, skiing at Snow Summit, or enjoying the wonders of the ocean, there is something for you to do in the city.
The weather is truly amazing
One of the many reasons why people want to move to Los Angeles is for the weather alone. As part of the beloved California Mediterranean climate, residents enjoy mild to hot and dry weather all year round with virtually no humidity.
If you are planning on moving to Los Angeles. We, at Aspire Los Angeles, would like to assist you on your journey. We are passionate about our city. We look forward to connecting you with the right agent on our team.
Buying a home is one of life’s sweet milestones. Whether you got tired of your one bedroom apartment, or you just got married and decided it is time to settle down, the home buying process can be exciting and stressful at the same time.
Though shopping for homes is definitely fun, buyers have to navigate through many complexities they’ve never faced before. Luckily, we’ve done this before!
Here are some of the things to keep in mind when buying a home.
Location, location, location
One thing you can not change about your home is the location. Therefore the most important things to keep in mind when house hunting are: location, location, location.
Your home should have a monthly mortgage payment you’re comfortable with. Thus, choose a home within your price range. That’s why, for most buyers, the home’s price tag is a make-or-break consideration.
In today’s marketing you should be prepared to negotiate. Because In a highly competitive market bidding wars are common. But don’t break the bank on what you can ultimately afford.
Home style and size
You want to be content with the layout and square footage of the home you choose. Remember that your needs may change as your household grows, and if or when family members are added, so carefully consider short- and long-term size needs as well as the practicality of the floor plan. Also, be well-informed about future expansion or restrictions on your home. Such as zoning, and local ordinances. In addition, districts subject to Mello-Roos, or located in a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) need to be taken in consideration as well.
Amenities inside and around the home matter a lot. From the type of flooring and quality of kitchen appliances to the lighting fixtures, bathroom finishes, and backyard features.
Try to focus on expensive features that would be harder for you to add on your own after purchasing. Amenities that can be easily changed or replaced, on the other hand, shouldn’t be the main driver behind your home purchase.
Quality of nearby schools
If starting or growing a family is in your near-term plans, then you’ll want to pay attention to the local school district where you’re purchasing. Even if you currently don’t have kids, it’s a good idea to investigate the schools and see how they compare to schools in neighboring towns.
Taxes and cost of living
Your location can also make a big impact on what you’ll pay in taxes and other living expenses. Investigate what you’ll likely pay in: sales taxes at local stores, property taxes, homeowners insurance, automobile insurance, and utility bills. All these added costs will increase your monthly housing bill and your overall cost of living. So take some time to compare expenses if you’re considering homes in multiple locations.
Every neighborhood has its unique qualities that you want to be aware of before you buy. When you work with a skilled real estate agency like Aspire Los Angeles, you’ll be well-informed about the different areas in Los Angeles. We look forward to assisting you on your home buyer’s journey.
When you’re looking to buy a home, there are plenty of choices available. One of them is a condominium (commonly known as a condo). It’s a multi-unit property that is divided and sold into individual units. These units are owned privately. The common areas in the building are owned collectively by all of the condominium’s owners.
Compared with a single-family dwelling, ownership in a condominium includes partial ownership in shared “common property.” Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when buying a condo.
HOA fees and rules
Every condo building has a homeowner’s association (HOA), which is a collective group in charge of community and property oversight. If you purchase a property in the community, it will be subject to the HOA regulations and you must pay owner member fees.
These fees typically help cover building costs, such as the upkeep of shared structures, common areas, and exteriors. Some also include utilities or insurance. When you’re shopping for a condominium, make sure you keep in mind the building’s monthly HOA fees goes on top of your estimated monthly mortgage payment.
Finally, review the property guidelines and make sure you don’t object to any of the rules (like restrictions on renovations or limitations on dog breeds) before you commit.
Some condos include amenities in their listing prices. Ask about amenities upfront so you get a clear grasp of everything you’re paying for when you buy the home. Amenities could be storage units, parking spaces, a private gym or pool. Sometimes utilities and earthquake insurance are included as well . You need to add these costs to your monthly budget.
You and your neighbors own the common property together. If one or many owners fail to pay their dues, the entire community suffers financially. Likewise, if one or more of your fellow condo owners go into foreclosure, the units could change hands at a serious discount, affecting everyone’s property values. Keep in mind, some associations have rules and the funds to buy back these units. Be sure to ask how this situation is handled.
Owner occupancy versus rental ratio
When it comes to financing, it’s important to know the owner occupancy versus rentals in the building. It will be more difficult to get a loan approved if there are more tenants versus owners in the building. Some complexes can have many renters moving in and out.
Hire a real estate agent
Working with a real estate agent who has the experience with the type of housing you want is crucial. We at Aspire Los Angeles have assisted our clients with various condos and their specific regulations. We have a deeper understanding of how to assess property value, explain mortgage terms, and outline community regulations. All of which can benefit you during your shopping process.
When you’re a first time home buyer and you imagine your dream home, you probably picture a detached, single family house. A property that has only one residential unit. But that’s far from the only option available to first-time home buyers in today’s housing market. Another option is a multi-family home, which is increasingly popular nowadays.
What is a multi-family property?
A multi-family property is any property that has more than one unit. The smallest multi-family property has more than one unit and are called duplexes. The next step up are triplexes and fourplexes, having three and four units each, respectively. These multi-family units enable you to live in one unit and rent out the other(s) to offset your mortgage costs.
If you are a first time home buyer and weighing the options of a single family home versus multi family homes. Here are 4 reasons why you should consider a multi-family home as your first real estate purchase.
Lower Down Payment
One of the great benefits of buying a two to four unit multi-family home is that you can get a conventional primary residence mortgage with as little as 5% down. You could also qualify for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and purchase a property with 3.5% down. If you’re a veteran or active-duty military, you may be able to get a home with 0%-down with a Veterans Affair loan.
Primary Residence Financing
It’s usually much cheaper to finance a primary home. If you’d like to take advantage of primary residence financing. You’ll get a lower interest rate and lower fees than you’d get for an investment property loan. If you’d like to qualify for primary residence financing, The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the parent of FHA, requires buyers of multi-family homes to occupy one of the units as your primary residence.
Lower Housing Payments
Another benefit of a multi-family home and therefore collecting rental income, is that it makes your housing payment lower or even erases it altogether. For example, if you buy a fourplex with a mortgage payment of $3000 per month and you collect $2500 in monthly rent from the other two units, your out-of-pocket housing payment drops to $500. Alternatively, you can use the rent money you collect to pay down your mortgage even faster.
Build equity faster
Buying a multifamily home instead of a single-family residence also lets you build equity faster — and by using your monthly rental income. For example, if you can spend $400,000 buying a triplex or $200,000 buying a single-family home, making your monthly mortgage payments on the triplex will build equity twice as fast.
Thus, there are many advantages to owning multi-family real estate. These include access to better financing opportunities, lower housing payments (due to rental income), and the ability to quickly grow one’s investment portfolio.
We at Aspire Los Angeles, would love to assist you in finding a sustainable multi-family unit which you can add to your investment dossier.
Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest investments of your life. When you are ready to enter the market, finding a real estate agent with the experience to guide you through the process is key.
Due to the abundance of real estate agents, finding the right candidate can feel overwhelming. With a long term asset like a home, you want to make sure you hire the perfect professional. But, how do you find the right real estate agent who fully understands your needs?
Here are some of the attributes our past clients appreciated from our agents. Perhaps these insights will help you to decide if Aspire Los Angeles is the suitable firm for you.
There’s no bigger compliment for us than a referral from our past clients. Through the years we’ve built and maintained a loyal client base. The testimonials from our clients can assist you in making a decision on whether Aspire Los Angeles is a good fit for you. Take a look at our testimonials to see if we are a match.
Track Record And Inventory
Our agents have over 16 years of experience and training in the real estate business. With our significant track record of serving clients, Aspire Los Angeles has built up a quality inventory. Our agents are specialized in the areas: Jefferson Park, West Adams, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, Downtown LA, but also West LA, and the outskirts of Pasadena. We’ve helped our customers find or sell craftsman homes, luxurious condos, contemporary mansions, mid century gems, and mediterranean villas.
According to our clients we provide the personal approach of a boutique firm, backed up with the bandwidth and strength of a real estate mogul.
Passion, Conviction And Honesty
We at Aspire have the passion, conviction, and honesty to assist you with your real estate matters. Our agents will do whatever it takes to get your home to sell faster and for the best price. Our team will go the extra mile to find you the house, you can call your home. We are passionate about our service and celebrate diversity and inclusivity among our team, our clients, and our local community.
When you sign up with one of our agents, you have immediate access to all the resources of our team members. Thus, you will always have direct access to your assigned agent and our efficient team will serve your needs as well. Though the logistics of buying and selling a home can be complicated, our support staff will go out of their way to make it a smooth ride.
If you are interested in buying property or selling your home. We, at Aspire Los Angeles, would like to assist you in this matter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to connecting you with the right agent on our team.
The neighborhoods West Adams and Jefferson Park are known for its historical beauty, central location, the expansion of the subway system, and its reasonably priced homes.
This family friendly community is welcoming, generous, and caring of each other. The houses are charming block after block, there are mature trees everywhere, and plenty of parking. In addition, the rows of skinny towering palm trees are postcard perfect.
With the rise of economic change, came the rise of local cuisine businesses with a renewed focus on the historical district and its development. Let’s take a stroll down some of these community businesses that have been around for quite a while.
Harold & Belle’s
One of the best Creole restaurants in Los Angeles. Harold and Belle’s Restaurant opened in 1969. Founders Harold & Belle’s dreamed of having a place where people would gather and socialize while enjoying delicious creole cuisine. The restaurant is now owned and operated by 3rd generation husband and wife Ryan and Jessica Legaux. The family expanded the restaurant from 12 dining tables to 35+, tripling the size of the kitchen and expanded the brand as a whole.
2920 W Jefferson Blvd, haroldandbelles.com
Earle’s on Crenshaw
The Earle family has evolved from a hotdog stand in Venice Beach into a thriving restaurant within the heart of the Crenshaw district. The Earle brothers have established themselves as a fixture in the Crenshaw community with a following that extends beyond the greater Los Angeles area. While the business has grown, their commitment to the empowerment of Black and Brown people, and dedication to quality food and superior service, has remained constant for over 36 years.
3864 Crenshaw Boulevard, earlesrestaurant.com
Located in the heart of the Crenshaw district, Mel’s Fish serves up traditional Louisiana favorites. Meals like red snapper, shrimp, po-boy sandwiches with their private cornmeal batter along with their secret blended seasoning that always keep their customers coming back for more. Mel’s Fish is currently being run by Georgette Powell who took over after her father passed.
4524 W Jefferson Blvd, melsfishshack.com
West Adams and Jefferson park continue to grow in value. The property value of this quaint neighborhood of bungalows, cottages, and craftsman homes – just south of the 10 freeway – has doubled in 10 years, and homes are now listed around $1 million-plus.
Our office is located in Jefferson Park and we are proud to be an active community member. If you are interested in buying a property in this historical district, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to show you around in our neighborhood.
You are ready to sell your home as soon as possible and you realize you’ve lived with your home quirks for years. That jiggly bedroom door handle, the electrical outlet in the kitchen that hasn’t worked in a decade. The red carpet in the guest room that’s more dated than dramatic.
Selling your home is quite a task, and you have to deal with the imperfections of your home. But what are mandatory updates? How do you get your house ready to sell? Which repairs should you make to add more value, and to get your house to sell faster? We recommend getting a full home inspection, which will give you all the insights you need into your home’s condition.
The home inspection report will shed light on what improvements you might wish to make prior to the sale. We can help you prioritize these improvements to help you set the right price for your home. Let’s take a look at some recommended updates before selling a house.
Dated electrical issues need to be fixed immediately. You can’t have missing wire nuts, frayed wiring, or faulty light switches when selling your house.
Plumbing problems can cause water damage and lead to mold and dry rot. It’s not an option to leave plumbing problems unfixed. Even simple replacements of a leaky faucet, or a washer or toilet wax ring should be on your to-do list.
Heating, ventilation, and AC issues
Fortunately if your system isn’t running properly, it doesn’t mean you have to invest in an entire new system. Hiring a certified technician to repair it, can do the job. Do keep in mind that any system at the end of its lifespan can bring down the appraised value of your house. Especially if other houses in the neighborhood have newer units.
Aging roof tops decrease your property value and cause all sorts of water damage and ventilation problems, which leads to paint blistering and mold. Not to forget high energy bills. It’s worth the investment to install a new roof before you sell your home. Though the average cost to replace a roof is $12,000 you will recoup that cost at resale.
A severely damaged foundation threatens the integrity of your home. Selling a home becomes difficult, when the foundation is flawed. Unless you are willing to negotiate on a lower asking price, you will benefit from restoring the foundation of the house you are selling.
Lack of modern safety features
Every state requires in-home smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you know your state and local laws. Inspectors or appraisers will look for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Aesthetic pleasing updates
You can benefit from aesthetic pleasing updates when selling your home. They aren’t mandatory by state and local law like an in-home smoke detector, but aesthetic pleasing updates can help to sell your house faster.
A new coat of paint will do wonders to freshen up your home, both inside and out. Leaving busy wallpaper, your daughter’s purple bedroom, the quirky turquoise bathroom, can turn off potential buyers. If you can, repaint your house in neutral colors.
If your kitchen, bathroom, or living room look dated, you may benefit from some minor work prior to putting your house on the market. Cabinet or door hardware, new countertops can have a big impact on your final sales price.
Luckily you don’t have to do this alone. Start by asking a top local real estate agent for help. We at Aspire Los Angeles are excited to help you decide on the necessary updates and to present your valuable home on the market.
Buyers in today’s market often have questions about the importance of getting a home appraisal and an inspection. That’s because high buyer demand and low housing supply are driving intense competition and leading some buyers to consider waiving those contingencies to stand out in the crowded market.
But is that the best move? Buying a home is one of the most important transactions in your lifetime, and it’s critical to keep your best interests in mind. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the appraisal and the inspection, and why each one can potentially save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.
The home appraisal is a critical step for securing a mortgage on your home. As Home Light explains:
“. . . lenders typically require an appraisal to ensure that your loan-to-value ratio falls within their underwriting guidelines. Mortgages are secured loans where the lender uses your home as collateral in case you default on the agreed-upon payments.”
Put simply: when you apply for a mortgage, an unbiased appraisal – typically required by your lender – is the best way to verify the value of the home. That appraisal ensures the lender doesn’t loan you more than what the home is worth.
When buyers are competing like they are today, bidding wars and market conditions can push prices up. A buyer’s contract price may end up higher than the value of the home – this is known as an appraisal gap. In today’s market, it’s common for the seller to ask the buyer to make up the difference when an appraisal gap occurs. That means, as a buyer, you may need to be prepared to bring extra money to the table if you really want the home.
Like the appraisal, the inspection is important because it gives an impartial evaluation of the home. While the appraisal determines the current value of the home, the inspection determines the current condition of the home. As the American Society of Home Inspectors puts it:
“Home inspections are the opportunity to discover major defects that were not apparent at a buyer’s showing. . . . Your home inspection is to help you make an informed decision about the house, including its condition.”
If there are any concerns during the inspection – an aging roof, a malfunctioning HVAC system, or any other questionable items – you have the option to discuss and negotiate any potential issues with the seller. Your real estate advisor can help you navigate this process and negotiate what, if any, repairs need to be made before the sale is finalized.
Keep in mind – home inspections are critical because they can shed light on challenges you may face as the new homeowner. Without an inspection, serious, sometimes costly issues could come as a surprise later on.
Both the appraisal and the inspection are important steps in the homebuying process. They protect your best interests as a buyer by providing unbiased information about the home’s value and condition. Work with your trusted real estate advisor so you have an expert guiding you throughout the entire process.