It’s no secret that Los Angeles has one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the country. Timeline after timeline demonstrates its resiliency and ability to bounce back after a downtrodden market — in some cases, even breaking previously set records on its way back up.
Along with a relatively stable market, Los Angeles is host to a vast landscape of different neighborhoods and areas that vary significantly from one another by way of things like culture, architecture and socio economics.
As a result, Los Angeles can be an exciting place to practice real estate, but like every market, it too has its share of confusing nuances and characteristics that can make it a challenging place in which to be successful Realtor. Here are a few of the most relevant factors that make Los Angeles such a unique market.
Lot size matters
For many properties in Los Angeles, often times, what you see isn’t what you get. Well, not all of it, anyway. Los Angeles contains a large number of canyon communities with homes that sit on sloping lots, meaning that sometimes, a significant portion of the land being sold isn’t even useable. Purchasing land that isn’t useable could prohibit or place serious limitations on plans for future expansion of the house or yard.
Realtor to Realtor: It’s a good idea to ensure that a reliable appraiser is always involved when a lot like this is measured for viability. A difference in size could equate to a difference in price.
Neighborhoods and sub-neighborhoods
Los Angeles is chock full of neighborhoods inside other neighborhoods and remembering the exact location, boundaries and traits for each is nothing short of a head scratcher. While the familiarity and understanding of the (literally) hundreds of Los Angeles neighborhoods comes mostly from experience and time spent working in the city, there’s something to be said for making a point to learn about the neighborhoods with which you have less familiarity.
Realtor to Realtor: Enhancing neighborhood familiarity can be beneficial for selling to out of town clients as well as clients who are long-time Los Angeles dwellers. Both types will have criteria, and being able to match a buyer’s criteria to a specific neighborhood is a valuable trait for an agent in any market.
Foreign buyer market
Los Angeles attracts buyers from all over the world. Whether these types of buyers are looking for a second home or snatching up investment properties, the foreign buyer’s market is going strong in Los Angeles. In fact, LA ranked as no. 5 (of 12) in the world for “cross border” investments in 2014.
Realtor to Realtor: It is important to educate yourself on tax laws and fees, as well as any other potential benefits or hindrances a foreign buyer may be subject to. This type of real estate is rather niche, but a firm understanding of its intricacies can potentially lead to a positive and worthwhile expansion in your clientele.
Los Angeles is home to a number of special and significant properties, labeled as such because of the architects who designed them. Homes designed by the likes of architectural influencers such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry or Charles and Ray Eames are quite prevalent in Los Angeles and can substantially affect the value of the neighborhoods in which they’re located.
Realtor to Realtor: The list of architects whose name can change the value of a home expands long beyond that of the names listed above. Understanding some of the history behind Los Angeles’ residential architecture can be a valuable tool for any realtor, particularly a realtor in Los Angeles, where these types of homes are rather abundant.
Colin Wellman is the principal broker of Campbell Wellman Properties.