Industry News

The trouble with starter homes

Diary of a real estate rookie

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

When Jeff and I saw the $495,000 alcove studio, he thought the alcove was too small -- "all I want is a queen bed, a lamp and a dresser," he said.  Then we saw the $509,000 alcove studio, and at 11 feet, the living room really was too small, due to the way the windows broke. We went up in price and the next place was gorgeous -- a little on the edge of civilization, but a brand-spanking-new granite/marble condo. One bedroom, gigantic kitchen, smoking balcony. $615,000. Not quite right. And I don't think it was the edge-of-civilization part that bothered him. It was that the intercom placement was inelegant, making it tough to put a chair in that place on that wall. Then we looked at a place downtown that was flooded with sunlight, in a loud neighborhood, but magically in the back of the building so it was quiet. $620,000. The neighborhood is getting cooler -- as in hip -- by the minute, and the price included a kitchen and bath reno. I would have bought it, if I had been liquid...