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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.

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. 

Amenities
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.

Investment risk
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.

Referrals 

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. 

Adequate Support

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. 

When looking for fixer uppers, you want to focus your search on those up and coming neighborhoods that are filled to the brim with potential while still having affordable options to choose from. We know thats not an easy thing to do in Los Angeles. Let’s take a look at some strategies you can apply to your search.

Older Neighborhoods

When looking for a fixer upper in Los Angeles, it is always a good idea to start off in the older neighborhoods. The homes were built in the early 1900s and were built solid and dependable, so you have good bones to work with.

South LA

With developments such as the Crenshaw line and Whole Foods coming to the neighborhood, South LA is hot right now. As we live in work in this neighborhood we know everything there is to know about where to find a great, affordable fixer upper and we  are happy to share with you how to create a beautiful modern vignette in these historic homes without losing the bones and charm of the property.

East LA

We are talking east of the LA river here, neighborhood such as Highland Park, Elysian Valley and even Echo Park still possess many diamonds in the rough.Highland Park is considered a historic neighborhood and was one of the first subdivisions of Los Angeles, and is inhabited by a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic groups. El Sereno

Mid City

With the The Crenshaw/LAX Line from north-south serving this Mid City, this is a good neighborhood to put on your list when you are looking for a fixer. The area is highly diverse in both people as well as amenities, including the nearby world class museum LACMA.

Sherman Oaks

Another location to check out is Sherman Oaks. It is located near the 101 and 405 freeways which give you quick access to Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. This area is a quiet community with tree-lined sidewalks and its fair share of mom and pop shops further adding to its charm. This area has several fixer uppers still available, but with the rising popularity and demand for this appealing neighborhood, people are reluctant to sell their homes.

Valley Glen

This is the neighborhood that is home to the infamous 2,700-foot mural called, “The Great Wall of Los Angeles.” Homes here are still affordable despite the many more upscale communities beginning to surround the area.Right now, there are still plenty of fixers to choose from. We consider this  an up and coming neighborhood in LA. Everything is being renovated, updated, and sold off quickly.

Affordable Options

In short, if you are on the hunt for a historic single-family home or something much trendier, you definitely want to check out these LA areas as soon as possible.

Much like most real estate markets around the country the Los Angeles market is affected by lack of supply, affordability issues and fluctuating interest rates.

Our CEO and broker, Letty Vermeulen notes that for South LA’s Jefferson Park and West Adams neighborhoods she can definitely see a slowdown. Partly due to the past winter months which are always slower and partly due to a city wide slowdown.

However, the Jefferson Park and West Adams area are still in a strong position due to the central location and the area is quickly becoming a public transportation hub, making it a very competitive market for first time home buyers and experienced buyers alike. We are also noticing many new apartment buildings in development, often combined with new retail and restaurants.

If you’d like to learn more about the Jefferson Park/West Adams area, or general Los Angeles real estate market, please contact us!

While we typically do not share any Dutch content with you our dear English speaking readers we couldn’t help but share our CEO’s starring role in today’s Dutch National TV News. Letty speaks to how she got started in real estate and how her Dutch Directness translates perfectly to succesfull business relationships here in the US.

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