Bird Streets Blog

7250 Franklin Ave | Franklin Towers


Franklin Towers
7250 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles CA 90028

Franklin Towers is a 14 story mid-century luxury high-rise in Hollywood. Developed by Jack Bendat in 1964, at a cost of $8M, the high-rise was originally luxury apartment rentals. Architects Bart Bosworth and Shelby Taylor designed the exterior (Shelby Taylor also designed 818 Doheny), and was built by Crown Construction Co (who also built Empire West in West Hollywood and Crown Towers in the Wilshire Corridor about the same time).


The Apartment building was called Franklin West, and it offered some pretty extravagant amenities, an onsite barber and beauty shop, a putting green, 24 hour maid service, and a Two-Story Oriental Tea House (still standing today, located by pool, converted to conference room) and parking for 400 cars.

In 1990 Axiom Development converted the apartments to condominiums and renamed the building Franklin Towers. There are 190 condos in Franklin Towers, ranging from Studios to Two Bedrooms and Penthouses. There are 16 different floor plans, so there is a lot of flexibility and choices.


Like many full service luxury high-rises, Franklin Towers offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle, where you feel like you are a movie star, or you might actually be a movie star, this building is a favorite for actors as well as busy young professionals.

Franklin Towers is a grand and classy building and anything but ordinary. It reaches 340 ft tall and has a unique crescent Shape. Franklin Tower offers residents excellent amenities and a convenient location.


See and be seen on Hollywood Boulevard, where the famous Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Hollywood & Highland Shopping complex are located. Head out for the night and you never know who you’ll meet! Some of Los Angeles best night clubs are on Hollywood: Roosevelt Hotel Pool, Supperclub, Playhouse, Ohm, Sound, Ora– are all within walking distance so you can save on an Uber. Or try hitting up the invitation only Magic Castle, just a block away. Yamashiro restaurant is another local legend. There is a 600-year-old imported pagoda and gardens can also be found there – your Instagram photos with it will make all your friends jealous.


 If you love hiking, one of Los Angeles most popular hikes is right down the street. Runyon Canyon is a local favorite, and not just for humans, dogs love Runyon too! If you’re feeling adventurous take on the killer wooden stairs route. The work is worth it – the view from the top of Runyon is breathtaking.

Real Estate

Franklin Towers condos are all single level.  There are 16 different Floorplans in two separate towers.

(21) Studios, (63) One Bedrooms (21) One Bedroom + Den (66) Two Bedrooms, and (18) Penthouses.

Each tower has its own elevator. The Front Desk has control of the elevators and can call either elevator for visitors.

 Price Ranges

Studios 300K-400K

1 BR      500K-600K

2 BR      700K-800K

PH          1M-1.2M


Turnover Ratio?  6.5%

Record Sale? $1,2450,000

Appreciation? 4.3%


Condos have 9 Foot ceilings, so they feel roomier then their square feet suggest. Every condo has a gracious sized balcony, and some have two. The biggest balconies can add 100sqft to 150sqft of outdoor space to condos and provide some amazing views. There are floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that open to each balcony.

A lot of Franklin Towers floorplans have a darling breakfast nook. Be creative with this area! A small round table and two chairs is all you need for having a morning coffee or dinner for one, whereas the large combined dining room and living room is great when entertaining guests.

Every Bedroom has a window. Originally the development had wet bars in ever condo but many owners over the years have removed them.

One big plus is that Franklin Towers condos have excellent closet space. Many of the 1Br and 2Br floorplans have a nice size walk-in closet. And all condos have more than one closet which helps keep your condo clean and uncluttered and a place to hang your wardrobe. Central Heat and Air





-Pool (heated, gets good light, hours 7:00 am – 11:00 pm)


-Valet (7:00 am – 2:00 am daily)


-Front Desk 24 hours





-rooftop gym/rooftop deck 360 degree views



-Conference room, former tea-house

Parking & Laundry

Parking is Assigned by Management in Subterranean Garage. Guest Parking? Valet 24 hrs?



Laundry Room on each floor

Laundry: Washer & Ventless dryer may be installed in  each condo, but not every condo has been upgraded to have in unit laundry. There is a laundry room on each floor that has a stacked Washer and Dryer that takes credit cards and another Laundry Room area in the garage.

Home Owners Association


Front Desk Phone: 323.876.6000

HOA dues Monthly Cost? 600/mo. -700/mo.

HOA dues cover? Water, Trash, Staff, Building Insurance, Maintenance, Reserves

Owner Pays for? Electricity (no Gas), Cable, Internet, Condo Insurance

Any special assessments? Yes – Additional HOA assessment of $120 a month for fire safety/common area rehab assessments (36 months left).

Pet Policy? 2 pets not to exceed total 50 lbs

Rental Policy?

EQ Insurance? No

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on balcony? Yes

Management company?

Ross Morgan & Company, Inc.
15315 Magnolia Blvd. Suite 212
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Read More

6250 Hollywood Blvd | W Hollywood Residences


W Hollywood Residences
6250 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90028


The W Hollywood is a 15 story modern luxury high-rise condominium, built in 2009, located at the epicenter of re-invigorated downtown Hollywood. The building exterior was designed by HKS architects in a contemporary and modern style. W Hollywood is another example of a growing trend of combining luxury condos and high-end hotels. (check out the Ritz Carlton Residences Downtown, sunset millennium tower).  There are 143 condos and 305 hotel rooms housed in two separate buildings. The W is for grown-ups, it’s happening. It’s cool.

Having a hotel onsite gives W Hollywood condos unprecedented amenities not available in ordinary condominium buildings. Can someone say- room service? Or how about a 24/7 concierge? Or an onsite spa, restaurant, bar, nightclub and The Best Rooftop Pool in Hollywood.

Everything inside the W is new and shiny. The building was built with modern construction techniques so the walls are completely soundproof, windows are double pane and energy efficient, and the plumbing is all new. Condos have humongous walk-in-closets, that you just don’t get with older buildings.

In addition to its luxurious amenities, this hotel/condo type of set up tends to keep the property constantly abuzz with excitement and activity. There is a constant flow of residents, hotel guests, tourists, travelers, tenants, commuters, diners, going outers, entertainers, and parties- so you will never be bored, and you don’t have to leave home to socialize! You live where all the action is happening.

It is not uncommon for a visitor to stay at the Hotel, and like it so much that they buy a condo. A lot of owners are bi-coastal, splitting their time equally between New York and Los Angeles.


Residing at the world-famous intersection of Hollywood & Vine, the W Hollywood is surrounded by many of LA’s most iconic landmarks: The Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park Observatory, The Walk of Fame, Grumman’s Chinese Theater, the Capital Records Building, and the Cinerama Dome. Some could argue that the W is now a landmark.


Directly to the South of the W Hollywood is an upscale Apartment Community – 1600 N Vine. The historic beaux arts Taft office building, with a Starbucks at ground level is to the East. Vintage Los Angeles condos the Broadway and Lofts at Hollywood and Vine are nearby neighbors. Trader Joes is a block away at the corner of Vine and Selma. There are a ton of café’s, restaurants, bars, and retail smattered within walking distance. However, you will never need to leave site, because the W has a restaurant, bar, and club all on site. But you don’t have to look any father- the W Hollywood has many great places to go on site. The W Hotel has a restraint- Delphine Eatery & Bar- the Living Room is really cool, and Drai’s rooftop pool nightclub.

The nightlife of Hollywood is legendary- Hollywood Blvd has many of Los Angeles most popular clubs.

Arclight theater is great place to watch a movie.

There is a Metro Red Line stop at the W- which is one of the rare forms of public transportation in LA. It’s just a ten minute ride to downtown.

This is even a hot spot for theater and performances- with the Kodak Theater and Pantages Theater. Ameoba Records, the Palladium, Ford Theater. You could go out and do a different thing  every night for a year.

Real Estate

Price Range for 1Br and 2Br $600,000 -$1,500,00

Penthouses $2,000,000+

Turnover: ?

Record Sale: ?

 You can spend a lot of time talking about all the great amenities the W Hollywood has, or all the cool places there are to go out in the neighborhood, but the high end custom home finishes in the condos are nice for when you just feel like hanging out at home.

Kitchens have European style cabinets from popular Italian company Poliform. Counters are Ceasar stone quartz counters, and the sinks and cabinets have designer fixtures and hardware. The kitchens have top of the line appliances. There is a subzero fridge, and Kupperbusch oven in each kitchen. Every Kitchen has an 84 bottle wine cooler and dishwasher.

There is rich coconut palm wood Flooring in every condo. The Natural wood warms up the condos, which can sometimes feel cold in contemporary designs with exposed concrete or terrazzo flooring.

These condos are all a good size. The Smallest Condos are 900sqft, and the largest 2BRs are 2,600sqft. The penthouses on the 14th and 15th level are substantially larger, reaching 3,600 sqft.

The master bedroom has good dimensions and have a large window. The Master bathrooms are very large, and have a double vanity, separate soaking tub, and frameless shower. Flooring in the bathrooms is Brazilian Limestone.

The closets are humongous, and come finished out with Poliform organizer system.

One of the features of the condos I really like is the huge 200-300 sqft Terraces that make the absolute most of outdoor space. You don’t get these huge terraces with older condo conversion buildings because they just weren’t built that way. Since the building is a high rise there are beautiful views. The best views are North, and West.

The W Hollywood condos are not lofts; they have bedrooms with a wall and door like a traditional layout. The Kitchen, Dining, and Living Room are all open in one large room. Each Bedroom has its own private bathroom. The Master closet is a huge walk-in. One of the biggest closets you can get in a condo in the city.





 -Rooftop Deck. The rooftop deck has a Swimming Pool (25 meters Long), a spa, Lounge Chairs, two outdoor fire pits, BBQs, sitting areas, and a dog Park.


-W Hollywood Hotel Lobby and Bar, called the “living room”, this space has a beautiful onyx bar and sparkling chandelier. W Hollywood residents can mix with friends and hotel guests. The Hotel has a yoga class in the morning and a jazz concert in the evening every Sunday.




-Dog Park (on the ‘Wooftop’)


-Lobby/Front Desk/Concierge (15 full time staff work at W Hollywood condos)



-Private Screening Room (seats 8-9), located just off the lobby

-Membership Perks (Your guests can stay at hotel for 20% less, Bliss Spa 15% less, Restaurants 15% less, Bar discount for residents, Stay at any Starwood hotel 10% less)

Parking & Laundry




Entrance to the W Hollywood Residences, valet waiting


Artist Erwin Redl installation – ‘wave of lights’ is a canopy of 40,000 White LED Lights hovering above in the parking area.

Condos have assigned parking spaces. Valet is complementary. 1 Guaranteed Parking Spot for each Bedroom. Each unit has up to 10 guest spots per month – valet responds to text and email requests as well as by phone. The entrance to the parking garage is off Argyle, just south of Hollywood Blvd. After turning into the motor court, drive past the hotel entrance to the valet station at the end which is for W Hollywood residences. The valet will park your vehicle.


Each condo has laundry inside, in a laundry room with door, somewhere in the hallway near the front door. There are no vents to the outside, so its ventless Washer/Dryer’s only.

Home Owners Association

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $1,200/mo. – $2,600/mo. depending on SQFT of condo. HOA dues are about $1/sqft of space

HOA dues cover?

Owner Pays For?

Does the building have gas?

Any special assessments?  No

Pet Policy? 1 cat or dog, no weight restriction

Rental Policy? 3 month min lease

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on balcony? Not on the terraces, but there are 2 BBQ area on Rooftop deck area

Management company?

Front Desk Phone Number?






Read More

1645 Vine St | Broadway Hollywood Lofts


Broadway Department Store 1951

Broadway Department Store 1951

Broadway Hollywood Lofts
1645 N. Vine St
Los Angeles CA 90028

If you love Old Hollywood as much as New Hollywood- Broadway Lofts is the right place for you!

Broadway Hollywood Sign

Broadway Hollywood Sign 2005

Broadway Lofts is a ten-story 96 condo Historic High-rise in Hollywood. Built in 1928, it housed BH Dyas Co Department Store until 1931 when Broadway took over its 30 year lease. Broadway Lofts was designed by architect Frederick Rice Dorn (1858-1930) in the Beaux Arts style. It has a strong resemblance to the Taft Building across the street which was built in 1923 by different architects. In 1938 Broadway Built a Streamline Modern Addition next store that was designed by Parkinson & Parkinson.

There are two other condo buildings nearby: Historic Hollywood and Vine Lofts is on the North East Corner of Hollywood and Vine, and the W Hotel residences a half block east on Hollywood Blvd.

Presumably an aspiring actress who just got off the bus at Hollywood and Vine and is waiting in front of the Hollywood-Broadway.

A new Hollywood Dreamer arrives in Los Angeles, gets off the bus, at the Hollywood and Vine stop, is standing in front of the Hollywood-Broadway.

Broadway Lofts gets its name from the Broadway Department store chain, which had its “Broadway-Hollywood” store there from 193z to 1982. In 2007 the building was converted from an office building to residential lofts by Kor Group. Kor Group did a similar conversion project a year earlier Downtown at Eastern Columbia Lofts.

There will always be people with spread out suburban sensibilities, Broadway owners are not one of these people. Living in the Broadway is like living in a small village, in an urban setting. You eventually get to know all your neighbors who live in the building, while you are socializing in the common areas, at the pool, or waiting for your car.

Owners of Broadway Hollywood Lofts enjoy substantial savings on their property tax because the building has a Mills Act contract. They pay around 1/3 of their normal annual property taxes.


Broadway Hollywood Lofts is located on the famed intersection of Hollywood and Vine.


The Walk of Fame is at your front door. There is so much activity going on in re-invigorated Hollywood, you’ll never tire of things to do!

On the weekend catch a movie at ArcLight Theaters, or watch a music concert at the Hollywood Palladium or Music Box Fonda Theater. Feeling in the mood for a musical? The Pantages theater is walking distance and gets all the broadway boxoffice hits. Not to mention nearby Hollywood Bowl and its summer concert series. Magic Castle is just plain cool. The Brickyard Pub, Lucky Strike Bowling.

Want to grab a bite to eat? There are plenty of restaurants nearby:  Katsuya, Chloe,  Beso, Musso and Franks’s, tender greens, shop house to name a few.

Or maybe you just need a drink? Drais night club in the W hotel, IO West improv, 33 taps, and Avalon night club are all within ambulation distance.

There is a trader Joe’s market at Vine and Selma for groceries. Sunday mornings is the Hollywood Farmers’ Market on Ivar. I should be map at them because I parked on Ivar overnight, and rushed to get to my car before 8:00 am, and my car was towed at 6:00 am. Just never park there on a Saturday night.

Starbucks for your morning coffee routine is across the street in ground level of Taft building. Transportation is easy with the Redline Subway station entrance and easy access to 101 Freeway.

101 Freeway Mural Argyle

101 Freeway Mural Argyle


 The Broadway Hollywood condos are true loft floorplans with no wall separating the bedrooms. Many owners have added curtains, privacy screens, or glass block walls to their bedroom to create separation. The condos are Live/Work so you can do business.

Most of the condos are single level floor plans. Only condos: #1008, #1006, #1005, #1004, #1002,# 909, #813, #814 are multilevel.

One thing I like is the HUGE 15 ft ceilings in the hallways and condos. You get a real “LOFTY” feeling when you are inside this building. I have to say that all the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. There is a big freight elevator, in addition to the main 2 elevators, which makes moving easier. The Freight Elevator is the only elevator that goes to the rooftop where the pool and gym are located.

There are:

1BR (29) 900sqft – 1,250 sqft

2BR (67) 1,400sqft – 2,200 sqft


North View


East View

Because it’s a high-rise, condos facing the North Side and to a lesser extent East Side have great views of the Hollywood Hills and Capital Records building, and Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign. South view is blocked by Plaza Hotel except for the 10th floor, and West View is blocked by Streamline Modern building.

Kitchens were finished with European style cabinets and Amana Stainless steel appliances. A lot of owners add kitchen islands to customize their kitchens.

Loft Bedrooms have a master bathroom that has a separate tub and shower, double vanity, penny tiles and hex subway tiles.

Condos came standard with exposed concrete floors, however some owners have installed wood flooring.

A handful of condos have a modest balcony, most do not have balconies.

Prices Range from $600,000 to $900,000 for 1BR and $1,000,000 to $1,200,000 for 2BR

Turnover- about 6-8 condos sell each year for 7% turnover ratio




-Rooftop Pool. The Pool has great views, and is 4 1/2 feet deep. Pool Hours are 6am to Midnight. There are 2 Cabanas, outdoor fireplace between the Cabanas, and SPA on the rooftop as well, with Access to the GYM.


-State of the Art GYM.


-LOBBY, I love the Tiles and Antiqued Mirrors! Very Art Deco and 1950’s

-24/HR Valet

-24/HR Doorman

Parking & Laundry


 Laundry Inside, in a laundry closet near front door. The Dryer is ventless.



Entrance to Parking Garage is off Vine in Ally between the Broadway and Hollywood Plaza Hotel. Broadway has Valet Parking Only. Parking spaces are not deed or assigned. 1 Parking space for small sqft condos, and 2 parking spaces for the larger size condos. You pull up into Parking garage from the ally and a Valet will take your vehicle.  There are two Car Elevators that take your car to the two sub-basement parking levels, or the two parking levels on the 1st and 2nd floors. There is NO GUEST PARKING. Overnight parking is available at a ramp down the street for $10 overnight.

Home Owners Association


HOA dues Monthly Cost? $1,000 -$1,800/mo. (Don’t forget the Mills Act Savings)

HOA dues cover?

Owner Pays?

Any special assessments?

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy? None

EQ Insurance?

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Management company?

Action Property Management

Front desk Phone Number?




Read More

930 N Doheny Dr | Doheny Terrace


Doheny Terrace
930 N. Doheny Dr.
West Hollywood, CA, 90069

Doheny Terrace is a 41 unit mid-rise condo building, built in 1990, located in the Norma Triangle neighborhood of West Hollywood. The building has a European flair with patina copper roof, stone paver motor court, fountains and sculptures, hand laid marble lobby floors, and Grecian columns. One of the original development ads boasted “See Europe like you’ve never seen it before. From the heart of west LA”


Being built in 1990, Doheny Terrace is one of the newer buildings in the neighborhood. The HOA does an excellent job maintaining the building. There is a full time security guard on site.

This complex was developed by Homestead Group Associates, who also built 960 N Doheny up the street at the same time.


930 N Doheny is in prime Norma Triangle, one of the best neighborhoods in West Hollywood. Very quiet and safe. A lot of Beverly Hills condo buyers will consider this building, it may not have the Beverly Hills Public schools, but the city of Beverly Hills has very few condos, and this location is as close as you can be to Beverly Hills without being inside its city limits.

-5 Minutes to West Hollywood Santa Monica Blvd
-5 minutes to Sunset Strip
-10 Minutes to Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive.
-15 minutes to Hollywood

Real Estate

Prices Range from $800,000 to $1,000,000.

Condos are all 2 bedrooms that range in size from 1,200 sqft -1,600 sqft.

17/41 condos are town house layouts and 24/41 condos are single level. Every Condo on 1st and 2nd floor are single level floor plans and every condo on the 4th floor is townhouse layout. The 3rd floor is a mix of both floor plans.

On average about two condos sell each year for 5% turnover ratio. ,Annual Appreciation is about 4%.

Condo entries have big double doors that swing open to gracious sized combined dining and living rooms with gas fireplaces. Condos have 9 foot high ceilings. Each condo has a balcony or patio with a glass slider.

Masterbedroom has its own private masterbathroom with separate tub and shower, and walk in closet.


-Full Time Security Guard

7:00 am -11:00 am

Fri & Sat
24 hours

9:00 am-7:00 pm

-Storage Room for each Condo in P2.


One Storage Room for Each condo

-Lobby. Beautiful Marble Inlay Floors


-Pool. Wading Pool, 4.5 Feet deep with a spa.



-Conference Room. Large Meeting room with tables and coaches, and a full kitchen.


-Gym- The Gym needs work, but at least there is space for it if the HOA decides it wants to invest in upgrading it.


–2 Elevators

Parking & Laundry


2 side by side deeded Parking Spaces for each condo in subterranean garage. All Residents enter the subterranean parking garage from Behind the Building on Wetherly (Turn off from Doheny onto Cynthia and then up Wetherly).  The building has 9 guest parking spaces. The Guest Parking spaces are just behind the mortorcourt driveway from Doheny in the front of the building.




Laundry is inside each condo, in a closet in the kitchen area. The Machines are stackable, and has gas dryer.


Home Owners Association

HOA dues Monthly Cost? Approximately $850/mo.

HOA dues cover: Security Guard, EQ Insurance, Building Insurance, Water, Trash, Reserves

Owner Pays For: Electricity, Gas, Internet, Cable, Condo Insurance

Special Assessments? None

Pet Policy? One dog or cat that weighs 50lbs or less.

Rental Policy? No Restrictions except no short term rentals.

EQ Insurance? Yes

Building Reserves? $150,000, 15% Funded

BBQ on Balcony? OK

Special move in instructions? Building charges $300 move in/move out fee. $300 is paid when you move in, and there is no charge when you move out. Deliver a $300 check to the front desk, made payable to “930 N Doheny Condominium Homeowner Association” at least 72 hours in advance prior to your move date. Also contact the HOA property management company and notify them also of your planned move date. The Management will Pad the elevator, and post a notice to all residents, reserving one of the two elevators for your move. Your moving truck may pull into the underground parking lot and load from there.

HOA Property Management company?

Hi-Point Properties:
PO Box 16474
Beverly Hills CA 90209

Front desk Phone Number:

The HOA Strongly recommends Power Plumbing for plumbing issues, especially when the water needs to be turned off, because Power Plumbing has been working in the building for years and they know how to turn off the Shared Water Boiler Heater, and turn off water to each condo.


Read More

960 N Doheny


Building Name?
960 Doheny Dr
West Hollywood CA 90069

960 N Doheny is a 4 story Mid-rise condo building with 16 condos, built in 1990, in the Norma Traingle Neighborhood of West Hollywood. The condo complex was developed by Homestead Group Associates. Homestead also developed 930 N Doheny, down the street, which was built at the same time and also opened in 1990. These two buildings are separate and have two separate HOAs. They are remarkably similar in design. 930 Doheny has a staff, where 960 N Doheny doesn’t have any salaried employees which makes 960 N Doheny’s HOA dues $150/mo. less.


960 N Doheny is a Mediterranean inspired Pied-a-terre, with its red clay tile roof, brick paver circular walkway, and mythological warrior statue guarding the entry doors. The Lobby has  an intricate marble inlay floor. 1990 is a newer year built for condo buildings in this area. One big benefit of this is in unit Laundry.

The street address for this building is 960 N Doheny, however the public records show the address as 962 Doheny. Since both addresses go to the same property, you can use whichever one you like. For searching real estate listings in this building make sure you use both addresses!


960 N Doheny is located in one of the best neighborhoods in West Hollywood- Norma Triangle. It’s on the West Hollywood side of iconic Doheny Drive, very close to the intersection of Doheny and Sunset. There is a new Marriot Hotel under construction that is replacing a parking lot.

Walking Distance: social club Soho House, Japanese restaurant ROKU, and BOA steakhouse (I love their bar!).

5 Minutes to West Hollywood Santa Monica Blvd, 5 minutes to Sunset Strip, and 10 Minutes to Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive.

Real Estate

Prices Range from $850,000 to $1,000,000.

On Average, one condo sells each year for 5% turnover ratio. Original Selling prices in 1990 were $400,000. Annual Appreciation is 3%.

12/16 condos are single level floor plans. 4/16 condos have a townhouse style layout.

Condos are all 2 bedrooms that range in size from 1200 sqft -1600 sqft.

Entries have big double doors that swing open to gracious sized combined dining and living rooms with stone mantel gas fireplaces.

Galley kitchen has a sunny breakfast nook.

Each condo has a balcony. Instead of glass sliders, French doors open to the balcony.

Masterbedroom has its own private masterbathroom and walk in closet.

, living room has fireplace & dental moldings. Walk-in closet


-Private Storage Room for each unit



-Rooftop Deck


-Modest Sized Pool



-Gym. The gym is pretty lack luster, however there is a very big room, so if the HOA ever wanted to improve this area there is space for it.


Parking & Laundry

Each condo gets 2 side by side deeded parking spots in subterranean garage. Guest Parking?

Laundry is in unit.

Homeowners Association

HOA dues Monthly Cost? $700/mo.

HOA dues cover?

HOA does exclude?

any special assessments?

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy?

EQ Insurance? Yes


Building Reserves?

Can you have BBQ on balcony?

Management company?



Read More

1033 Carol Dr | Carolwood Condominiums


Carolwood Condominiums
1033 Carol Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90069


1033 Carol Dr. is a 36 unit low-rise midcentury architectural condominium complex in West Hollywood, built in 1975. The building is very well cared for and looks like its new! The HOA does a very good job maintaining the property.

The building is quiet and sophisticated and appeals to owners who want elegance and luxury, and are seeking the right balance of privacy and community.  Many of the condos have had $100,000’s in remodels invested in them by their owners. There are a few rentals but most of the condos are used as residences and not rented. Condos in Carolwood rent between $5,000/mo. and $7,000/mo. As is typical of West Hollywood, there aren’t many if any kids. Most of the residents are singles and couples who are very affluent, and could afford more but choose to live modestly, or own Carolwood as a second home or vacation home.

Upscale residents enjoy an abundance of open space, in a warm natural setting, with architecture that “shelters without enclosing and defines without limiting” – Ron Goldman.





The Architect behind Carolwood’s design is local California Architect Ron Goldman.


Ron Goldman is perhaps best known for his humane ethos and award winning contemporary beach homes in Malibu where he has resided for the past 30 years. Ron has also been an outspoken activist in the communities of Malibu and Santa Monica against large scale developments.


Located in a quiet pocket of West Hollywood in-between Beverly Hills Flats and of Norma Triangle, the Carolwood neighborhood feels more like Beverly Hills than West Hollywood to me. 5 Minutes to West Hollywood Santa Monica Blvd and 10 Minutes to Rodeo Drive. You’ll probably be making a trip to your favorite art gallery after closing on a Carolwood Condo, because they have a lot of wall space perfect for displaying art and decorating with mid century furniture.

Owners can walk to social club Soho House, Japanese restaurant ROKU, and celebrity hotspot BOA steakhouse.


Carolwood gets its name because it has a lot of wood siding. The trademark of Carolwood developer Murray Weber is wood and brick exteriors. He believed that using a natural finish enhanced enjoyment and increased property value.


LA Times May 21, 1978

A tremendous amount of open space was set aside in Carolwood. Most developers nowadays would try to cram double or triple the number of condos on the same size lot. Carolwood has almost an acre of land. This didn’t happen because Ron Goldman is a big proponent of incorporating open space into his designs.





As a result, you find open air hallways, a park-like outdoor courtyard, and plenty of elbow room between your nearest neighbor.


Goldman admits freely his love of skylights and windows. Condos have floor to ceiling mid century windows that get plenty of natural light. Living Rooms have Gas Fireplaces.

Real Estate


Carolwood Site Plan

Carolwood condos range in price from $800,000 to $1,200,000. They are all 2 Bedrooms with square footage ranging from 1,400 sqft to 2,000 sqft so they are quite large. Floorplans are all two bedroom and primarily Townhouses with one flight of stairs. There complex has a mix of (28) Townhouse Floorplans and (8) Single Level floorplans. The eight single floorplans are Condos Numbered: #301, #303, #304, #306, #401, #402, #403, #404. Everything else is a townhouse.



Every condo has a patio or balcony for some private outdoor space. Some of the balconies have views.





Bedrooms have good dimensions and are not right next to each other so there is privacy between them. Many owners utilize one of their bedrooms as a home office.





Kitchens are Galley style. Kitchens aren’t very big, but fine for up to two cooks.  There is an informal Dining room off the kitchen that comfortably seats 6.


Masterbathroom Size


Each floorplan has a Powder Bathroom, a full hallway Bathroom and Masterbathroom attached to Masterbedroom. Masterbathrooms have separate tub and shower and double vanity.





– Pool + Spa. 8 Foot Deep end. 






Parking & Laundry

 Two Side by side deeded parking spaces for each unit in subterrean parking garage. Guest Parking?

Laundry is inside. Stacked Washer Dryer in kitchen. Some owners have moved the laundry into a hallway closet and turn the laundry area in the kitchen into a pantry.  


Home Owners Association

 Home Owners Dues: $850/mo. – $1,000/mo.

HOA dues cover? EQ Insurance, Water, Trash, Common Area Maintance, Building Insurance, Reserves.

Owner Pays? Electricity, Gas, Internet, Cable, and Condo Insurance

Special assessments?

Pet Policy?

Rental Policy?

Building Reserves?

Management company? 

Earthquake Insurance? YES

Read More

849 S Broadway | Eastern Columbia

849 south broadway

Eastern Columbia Lofts
849 S Broadway
Los Angeles CA 90014

Eastern Columbia Lofts is a Historic High-rise in the financial district of Downtown. Built in 1930, Eastern Columbia has a rich history. If you dig Eastern Columbia lofts you might also want to check out nearby Historic Highrise Rowen Lofts.

Eastern Columbia is easy to spot- with its bright jewel tone Turquoise and gold leaf terra cotta exterior. Talk about Opulent! Eastern Columbia is one of the finest Art Deco buildings in all of Los Angeles, and the only one that you can own as private residences.

The high-rise art deco tower is 13 stories tall, providing gratifying views of the downtown skyline from inside and from the rooftop deck and pool area. The building was converted to Condos in 2006 by Kor Group. There are 147 condos total. Kilfer Fleming was the architect for the project and Kelly Wearstler did the interior designing. $80 million dollars was spent modernizing and upgrading the building. The renovations restored original elements and infused them with modern amenities. I think the developer did a good job of harmonizing the renovations with the overall spirit of the building.

Today, Eastern Columbia lofts dazzles anew and offers owners a unique downtown living experience.


Eastern Columbia lofts is located at the corner of Broadway and W 9th St. It’s on Broadway. When Eastern Columbia lofts opened, buyers came for the building, but now the neighborhood is becoming the selling point.

Broadway lights

Downtown’s Broadway has had its ups and downs.

7th and Broadway 1920

7th and Broadway 1920


7th & Broadway 1928

In the 1920s and 30s, Broadway was in its halcyon days. You didn’t see horse drawn carriages anymore, the traffic had mechanized. Pedestrians, motorcars and electric streetcar shuffled passed each other between gridlocks. The Broadway theater district was the entertainment center of the city. There were twelve grandiose theaters on Broadway between 3rd street and Olympic boulevard:

Million Dollar Theater – 307 S Broadway  (open)
The Roxie (closed) 518 S Broadway
Cameo (closed) 528 S Broadway
Arcade (closed) 534 S Broadway
Los Angeles Theater(open) 615 S Broadway
Palace Theater (open) 630 S Broadway
State Theater (closed) 703 S Broadway
Globe Theater (open) 744 S Broadway
Tower Theater (open) 802 S Broadway
Rialto Theater (urban outfiiter) 812 S Broadway
Orpheum Theater (open) 842 S Broadway
United Artist Theater (open ACE HOTEL) 929 S Broadway

These theaters attracted millions of visitors each year. Like its new York city namesake, LA’s Broadway was jumping with vaudeville acts, plays, musical performances and later black and white movie screenings.


However during the great depression Broadway fell on hard times. Downtown Los Angeles went into a steady decline and by the 1950’s the city had moved West. Century City and West Los Angeles in the 1960’s took many businesses away from downtown’s business district. Westwood Village and the Beverly Center attracted shoppers away from Downtown. Chinese Grauman Theater and Hollywood took away traffic from the theaters.


7th and Broadway 1956


7th and Broadway 1958

In addition there was a real smog problem in Los Angeles from 1960 -1980 that was especially bad downtown. By the 1980’s beleaguered and blighted Broadway was downright dangerous and scary. The once beautiful theaters were either closed, demolished, or converted to other uses like flea markets, discotechs or churches.

In front of Lowes Theater

Picture taken in front of the State Theater, 703 S Broadway

In the past 10 years downtown has made a real comeback. But the dream of making it big on Broadway has remained elusive. This is somewhat on an enigma when the surrounding areas on Spring and Main in Downtown have improved much faster.



The City Council passed the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, reinvesting $40M into Broadway. But if you walk on Broadway today, you will see that many buildings are boarded up, have broken windows, and graphitti still remains. The street level vendors are low income electronics, clothing, and jewelry stores. In an La Times article interviewing one of the local small business owners on broadway about the recent changes, he remarked that he thinks the changes are good, however the new crowd that’s moving in probably doesn’t want his business.

There are rumors floating around that a streetcar will return to broadway, but I don’t expect to see one anytime soon, because the cost estimate to build one is around $350M.

Encouraging Signs of Broadway’s Comeback

Ace Hotel


The biggest story is the neighborhood is the Ace Hotel that opened in 2014. It took over the old United Artists theater. This hipster hotspot is making Broadway feel young and cool again! They restored the 1,600 seat theater, which now has regular performances, and have a rooftop pool and tasty restaurant.

The Orpheum


The Orpheum theater underwent a $3.5M renovation in 2001 and now has regular shows of things you’d actually want to see. The lineup is totally eclectic so it will always keep you guessing who might play there next. I love the Neon Billboard on it’s roof. It’s right across the street from Eastern Columbia so you get a very good view of this attractive building.

Urban Outfitters


 Urban Outfitters moved into the old Rialto theater. They totally gutted the inside so the walls are exposed brick, and the ceilings are exposed wood rafters. The lifestyle brand has a very hip clientele and has a reputation along with the ace hotel for being a Pioneer, opening up stores in edgy up and coming neighborhoods. UO sells records, clothing, and shoes.



The long awaited reopening of a downtown classic, Clifton’s, finally happened in 2015. The new owner spent $10M on renovations and it took him 5 years to finish. Clifton’s is not your normal restaurant- it has a giant faux redwood tree INSIDE and a waterfall. It’s a must see for anyone spending the day Downtown. Grab something from the deli counter!

DTLA Whole Foods


Opened 2015 at Grand and 8th. Property values always go up when whole foods moves in. Now you’ve got another grocery shopping choice in addition to 7th and Fig

Yes Broadway still has some rough edges, but change is happening. Some day all the old theaters will be reopened and Broadway will be back.  



The Vertical Lines typical of Art Deco make Eastern Columbia appear taller

close up of beatifully patina copper spandrels

close up of beautifully patina copper spandrels

Mr. Sieroty wanted to make a statement with Eastern Columbia and he certainly did. This project was the crown jewel in his 29 store department chain, and the culmination of an entire career. Eastern Columbia opened in 1930, when Mr Sieroty was 54. He passed away just seven years later in 1937.


Sieroty hired local architect Claud Beelman to design his new flagship store. Beelman might at first glance seem to be a strange choice, because Beelman’s previous projects were all Beaux Arts commercial buildings (Barker Bros. Building, Roosevelt Building, Elks Lodge, Pershing Square Building). By the early 1930’s downtown was getting overrun by Beaux Art buildings and they were all starting to blend together in a muted putty symphony of stone. I think Beelman was just as sick of Beaux Arts as Sieroty was. Beelman had already started experimenting with Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.


Eastern Columbia Lofts has an “East Coast” kind of vibe. In 1929, Sieroty sent Beelman on a field trip to the east coast to search for ideas. Beelman traveled to New York, Boston, Detroit and other Eastern cities to come up with ideas for a new distinctive building. I have no evidence that Beelman visited Radiator Building (1924) in New York by Raymond Hood, but I can see a strong resemblance with Eastern Columbia.


Radiator Building NY

Beelman designed a handful of other art deco buildings during this time. The Garfield Building (1928), the Jewelry Center (1931) and 9th & Broadway (1930). Eastern Columbia is his finest Art Deco design.

Eastern Columbia Lofts is a personal statement from Mr Sieroty. Mr. Sieroty was a shrewd business man, and was constantly thinking of new ways to promote his brands: Eastern Outfitting Company (Furniture Sales) & Columbia Outfitting company (Clothing Sales). I think he understood that building a store that was bold and daring would attract customers- at the time there was local competition from bigger brand-name’s like May Co., Desmonds, and Bullocks.

The most noticeable feature of Eastern Columbia is its brilliant and colorful Turquoise and Gold facade. Sieroty had guts to approve this bold color. It must have caused quite a stir when it finished. Eastern Columbia is frequently photographed and is one of the most adored buildings in Los Angeles.




One of my favorite features of Eastern Columbia is the two story arcade at the entrance. Adolph Sieroty name is proudly placed on the lintel above the doorway. He was proud of this building. The Golden Sunburst, zigzags, and chevrons at the entry give me the feeling that I am entering some sort of temple whenever I go in.


Eastern Clock Company, Adolph is young man on Far Right

Sieroty’s retail empire had humble beginnings. It started from a single Clock Shop on Spring Street in 1892 called ‘the Eastern Clock Company”. One of the most striking features of Eastern Columbia design is the Clock Tower. Sieroty pays homage to his first clock shop with the Clock Tower on top of Eastern Columbia.


Tower Theater 1927

Sieroty may have taken notice of the clock tower from Tower Theater (1927) just up the street, which was completed 3 years earlier. However, Sierotys Clock is on a completely different level, literally. Some wonder how Sieroty pulled the clock tower off. Los Angeles had a 150 feet height restriction on all buildings downtown, until 1956. Eastern Columbia lofts is 264 feet above the street, 114 feet above the height limit.


Sieroty must have known the right people in the right places to get around the height restriction. He was a socialite and booster. He was a member of the Jonathan Club, Los Angeles Club, Wilshire Country Club, and Los Angeles Country Club.  You can bet he had connections at city hall that allowed him to surpass the pre-war 150 foot height limit with his clocktower, so long as it wasn’t used for livable space. Consequently until the 1950’s Eastern Columbia was one of the tallest buildings downtown, only smaller than city hall (454 ft).

I’m a Huell Howser fan, and he did a wonderful tour of this Eastern Columbia when the conversion was completed in 2007. Worth a watch:




Eastern Columbia condos are true lofts. They have no wall or door on the bedroom. Some owners install dividing walls to define their bedroom space and create privacy. Condos originally sold with exposed concrete floors. You can customize the look and feel of the flooring by choosing a custom stain or acid wash.


Some owners have instead installed wood floors. Layouts are almost all single story, so no stairs. Square Footage is at a premium downtown, so the majority of the condos in Eastern Columbia are 800 sqft-1,200 sqft that are ideal for a 1 bedroom layout. Prices go up as you go higher, and by the size of the condo. Condos are selling between $700,000 and $1,000,000. The Larger condos are 1,200-1,600 sqft, there are about 40 of them of the 147 so they come up less often. There are 5 penthouses with average size of 2,500 sqft. A celebrity bought all the Penthouses from the Developer. Penthouses have a townhouse style layout.


Galley Style Kitchen


The Developer did a great job on the Kitchens and Bathrooms. Each condo has a Modern kitchen with Quartz countertops and European style cabinets and stainless steel appliances. The Bathrooms are great especially if you like to take baths. There are large soaking tubs with a tub deck that gives you a lot of space for setting candles, bath soaps, reading glasses etc. I love the vintage penny round tile.


This building has so many windows which means great natural light. Many of the original metal casement windows were saved- and what is unique is that they fully open and close, so you can get good air circulation. The condo’s have 11 foot ceilings for plenty of room to think.



Condos that face West or North have small balconies. Most condo’s don’t have a balcony. Washer Dryer in unit.  Wired for internet and cable.


Eastern Columbia has some hotel-like amenities that makes it feel like you are on vacation!


By far and away the best amenity is the Rooftop pool area!


Great View! Day or Night



The Private Rooftop Pool area, has a big open area with reclining lounge chairs and multiple umbrellas perfect for some sun worshiping or an evening dip. The Pool is 3 feet deep and long enough to swim laps. There is a Outdoor gas fireplace that makes this space dynamic at night. The is also a spa. The best part of the rooftop pool area is the mesmerizing views of Downtown Skyline.

Fitness Center



Nothing is more convenient than having a Fitness center on site. There are quite a few great gyms downtown, but if you don’t consider yourself a fitness buff- or maybe you are a fitness buff but sometimes its just good to have a backup, the fitness center has your daily exercise regime covered. All the Equpiment is new and it has a good mix between aerobic elypicals and treadmills and weight-resistance equipment.


For condo buildings, I am big on a lobby. It’s important to make a good impression, especially for Higher price point buildings. An attractive lobby can raise the resale value of the building. The Lobby in Eastern Columbia does not disappoint.  The original terrazzo from the sidewalk flows in from the street to flooring of the lobby.  Rows of Antiqued mirrors and Gilded ceilings riff on the Art Deco themes of the building. There is a large sitting area that is tastefully furnished with a copious amount of tables and chairs.




These Beautiful etched elevator doors are original

Extra Storage

Let’s face it, you can never have enough storage. Each Condo comes with a storage space on the second floor.




Dog Run

Eastern Columbia Lofts is very dog friendly. There are no restrictions on size or breed, the only rule is a maximum of two 2 pets.



Downtown Parking sucks. You have to pay $10 or $15 to park in a private lot, meters are very tough to get, and you have to be careful to watch the time so when rush hour comes and you have to move your car,, you don’t get towed. And with all the parking lots being snatched up by developers lately, parking isn’t getting any easier. Every condo comes with at least 1 parking space, the larger condos have two. The parking is assigned parking in a private garage. The price for the parking spot is covered in the HOA dues. It is possible to rent an extra space at an additional cost.


Eastern Columbia Lofts has a very organized and active HOA. The HOA has their own website:

HOA Dues range from $800-$1,000 a month. Not a bad price for all the amenities. Keep in mind since the building has a Mills Act , you get significant savings on your property tax which lowers the overall cost of ownership.

HOA dues include: Water, trash, A/C and building insurance, Window Washing

Owner is responsible for: Condo Insurance, Electricity, Gas, Internet, Cable

Legal Note: The HOA is currently in mediation with the developer over construction defects. The defects concern only the common areas, and not inside individual condo units. The areas under investigation are the building exterior, the plumbing and electrical. This lawsuit makes it difficult to finance currently until it is resolved. It is important to note that the building is safe, usable and accessible.

HOA Contact Information:

Front Desk

Action Property Management
Phone: (800) 400-2284
Fax: (949) 450-0303
2603 Main Street, Suite 500
Irvine, CA 92614


Read More


Buster Keaton’s classic “One Week” from 1920 depicts his comic attempt to assemble a mail order bungalow.


Deciphering what Bungalow means can be very confusing. That’s because the term Bungalow doesn’t relate to any specific architectural style – bungalows were designed in all kinds of different architectural styles- basically whatever sold well and was popular during the early 20th Century (1910’s to 1930’s).

styles12 - Copy

Examples of Different Bungalow Styles Left to Right (Dutch Colonial, Tudor, Craftsman, Craftsman, Spanish, Victorian)

The most popular bungalow styles were: Cottage, Cape Cod, Spanish, Colonial, Dutch Colonial (with its gambrel roof), and Tudor. There were exotic styles too like Spanish Mission Style, Japanesque, Foursquare, and Swiss Chalet, but they were less popular. Sears & Roebeck had over 500 different designs to choose from. The top selling designs were frequently copy catted between competitors so it can be difficult sometimes to pin point the exact model and manufacturer of the most popular bungalow designs.

Bungalows are not distinguished by their architectural style, but instead by how they were built. Bungalows came in pre-cut kits that were easy to assemble and could be purchased from mail order catalogs. Bungalows were the first mass produced housing.


Sears Roebuck Catalogs

Picture of Sears & Roebuck Catalogs from Oklahoma Houses by Mail



honor built homes why not your home

Sears & Roebuck Ad- showing bungalow precut kits with numbered Pieces that were easy to assemble

Bungalows were modest in size, typically 5 to 8 rooms, with 2 to 4 bedrooms, and one to two bathrooms (Image living with *gasp* only one bathroom now!).They range in square feet from 800 sqft -1,500 sqft. A house kit could be purchased for $1,000 -$4,000, when the price of a model T was about $400, and the average worker wage was $1,000 per year. These home were really affordable! The tiny garages of the bungalows barely fit a modern size sedan and would never fit a SUV.


model T - Copy

There is a model T parked in the driveway of this Cottage Bungalow illustration


Home owners could save the construction cost of $1,000 to $2,000 if they decided to built the house themselves, which many owners chose to do.

typical bungalow 5 room floorplan

Typical bungalow 5 room floor-plan

California has a lot of bungalows because the 20’s and 30’s were boom years in this states’ history. Spanish and Craftsman bungalows were the most popular styles in California.

Historic Background

The 1900’s saw big improvements to the quality of life for the average American. This was the conception of the “American dream”: to own your own home. At the turn of the century electricity was supplanting oil lamps and candles for light and power, and it was a real luxury to have indoor plumbing. Many houses had a tub in the bathroom, but if you needed to use the toilet you still had to go to the outhouse. There was a new middle class rising, getting married and starting families. They could afford to pay for a modestly priced home and build it themselves provided with a plan and materials. Bungalows became the “it” craze.

sears reobuck factory

Sears & Reobuck’s precut home factory

Companies rushed to meet the demand for new housing by building large home building factories and selling precut and designed homes. In an old Sears Roebuck advertisement they ‘claimed’ all you need to build their house is a wrench, hammer, and screwdriver… In the bungalows heyday it is estimated that more than half million were built.

The largest companies to sell homes by catalog were:

Sears Roebuck, Chicago Illinois
Aladdin Homes, Bay city Michigan
Montgomery Wards, Chicago Illinois
Sterling Homes, Bay City Michigan
Pacific Ready Cut Homes, Chicago Illinois
Wardway Homes, Chicago Illinois
Ready Built Houses Co. Portland Oragan
Gordon Van-Tine, Davenport Iowa
Harris Homes, Chicago Illinois
Home Builders Catalog – Publication

Sears “the world’s greatest store”, was the largest seller of catalog homes. It is estimated that they sold 100,000 homes during the time they were operating between 1915 and 1940. The Great Depression in the 1930’s and the invention of the FHA in 1934 crippled the mail order housing industry. A large portion of mail order housing company profits were made on the loans they underwrote for their houses. When the FHA was created, it offered loans at substantially lower interest rates then the loans homeowners had with the mail order catalog companies. Not surprisingly, most home owners refinanced, and the catalog companies lost their most profitable and important source of income. Couple that with huge unemployment and precipitous drop in home sales during the great depression, and the stage was set for mail order companies folded.

What is a Bungalow?

Efficient,  Thrifty,  Humble



partial wall in a bungalow between living room and dinning room

partial wall - Copy

Open Living Room and Dining Rooms. This was a big step towards modern open floorplans. The bungalow floorplans opened up the wall between the living room and dining room to save space and make both rooms feel bigger. The areas were commonly separated by a Partial wall . Kitchens were still closed, that didn’t change to 1950s.

Gable Roof1 –Gable roofs. Flat roofs were hardly ever used. The big Gable roofs, provided a huge attic space which could be used as space for an addition later. the gable roofs usually had  overhanging eves.  The Gable could be positioned front or sideways for very different architectural look.


fireplace mantel 233222

Wood Burning Fireplaces w/ decorative tile mantel (sometimes chimneys were made with clinker bricks or the mantel with local batchelder tile)

dormer types

Dormer image2 - Copy

Different Dormer Styles on Bungalows

Dormers. The gabled roofs were often enhanced with decorative or functional dormers. If bedrooms were located on a second floor the dormers would give the bedroom a window for light and ventilation as well as increase the ceiling height. Dutch Colonials almost always have dormers.


1930 sears robeck - Copy


-Breakfast nooks. Informal dining, this space doubles a play area.

-oak wood floors, all wood flooring originally stained dark

-Lath plaster walls

-First houses with electricity

-Raised foundation

-inviting entrances

– low bedroom to bath ratio 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 – no en-suit bathroom, hallway bathroom that everyone shares

-Small bedrooms and small closets, people used amours, the closet was a relatively new idea. Bedroom dimensions were 12 x 12 to 15 x15. The closets are extremely small by today’s standards, and certainly no walk-ins. I joke with clients sometimes that people who lived in the turn of the century must have only had 1 or two outfits and probably had to get them washed constantly.

-Lots of built ins, book cases and shelving – linen closets, china cabinets in living rooms, book cases.

– Floor-plans have direct entry into living room, instead of vestibule or foyer. Less formal entry than in the past.


Bungalows Today:

The style preferences of America changed in the 1940’s with the introduction of the ranch house, and continued to evolve from the influence of mid century and modern architecture. Popular taste moved away from bungalows for many years. But bungalows are coming back. There is a group of vintage home buyers in Los Angeles buying and restoring these old bungalows. Vintage buyers love them for their intimacy, cheerfulness, and comfy-ness.

Not everybody feels the same way. There is a growing trend in Los Angeles right now to tear down these classic bungalows because the land value is so high and bungalows are underbuilt for the lot. Well-to-do home buyers want 4,000 sqft “Sugar Cube” modern homes. In recent years, HPOZ have been created in several historically significant neighborhoods in Los Angeles to protect these homes from demolition.

Bungalow Neighborhoods in LA:

-Atwater Village
-Jefferson Park (really bad shape! HPOZ)
-Carthay Circle (HPOZ)
Melrose Hill  (HPOZ)
-Greenacre neighborhood,  West Hollywood
Miracle mile ( Olympic and w 8th street, la brae and Fairfax)
-Windsor Hills
Miracle Mile North (HPOZ)
Spaulding Square (HPOZ)
-Studio Village, Culver City
-Adams Hills, Glendale
-Westwood, South of Santa Monica & North of Pico



Read More

First Time Home Buyer

First Time Home Buyer

Firsttime buyer collage


Owning your own home is a smart investment. Prices go up. Over the long term, your home will increase in value. Meanwhile, you have to live somewhere, and why pay your landlord’s mortgage when you can pay your own? If you rent for 30 years, at the end of the 30 years you will have nothing. If you own a home for 30 years, at the end of the 30 years you will own the home free and clear and it will have doubled or tripled in value. That’s a retirement plan.

Home owners also enjoy favorable tax breaks like the mortgage interest deduction, and the capital gains exemption.

Here is my advice for Home owners to-be:

Are you ready to buy a home?

Owing a home is a big responsibility. When you are renting you can pick up and move at the drop of a hat. As a homeowner, your living situation is not as flexible. It’s a big hassle to sell and the transaction fees are costly. Before you purchase I recommend to be certain you are going to be staying in the area for at least 3 years. You will also be responsible for property maintenance.

Make sure your finances are in order. If you are carrying a lot of credit card debt or student loans, it may be better to pay off your debt before buying a house. Check your credit score, if its below 680 you will need to work with a credit repair company to raise your credit score in order qualify for a loan. How much money do you have in the bank? For most first time home buyers saving up the down payment is the biggest hurdle. Thankfully there are a lot of low down payment loan programs that make buying your first home easier. Some good loans to be aware of are 10% down, 5% down, and FHA 3.5% down loans– keep in mind that if you are putting less than the traditional 20% down you will have the extra cost for PMI

In Los Angeles, real estate prices are higher than other parts of the country. For the price you can buy a 1 bedroom condo in Los Angeles, you could buy a new construction two story house in the Midwest. Because prices are high, it is not uncommon for parents to give downpayment help to first time home buyers here. One trend I am seeing with Millennials, is Parents are giving their kids the inheritance early- so they can use it to buy a home. This makes a lot of financial sense, because you can put that money to good use working for you instead of laying dormant in a checking account for ten plus years. I always recommend for first time buyers to talk with their family and ask for help. 

Tips for First Time Home Buyers:


If you are like me you want everything right now and hate waiting. The last thing you want to hear when you are trying to buy your first house is that you need to be patient. From my experience, it takes on average three to five years to buy your first house in Los Angeles, from initial planning stages to final purchase. Los Angeles is a big city and has big city prices that are higher than the US national average. Higher prices make home purchase more difficult. Zillow says the average age of first time homebuyer is 31, but in LA I think it’s a little higher because the prices are higher. Another factor, is that in a big city prices fluctuate wildly. Depending on where the market is in the real estate cycle, prices can go up or down as much as 15%-20% in a year. Saving a down payment takes time.

Don’t be Afraid to ask questions

When it’s your first time everything is new. You will have a bazillion questions rolling around in your head. Don’t be afraid to ask, ask, ask. That’s the best way to learn. Don’t just ask your real estate agent or lender either. Ask your friends and family. Watch HGTV. This is an important decision. It’s a good idea to rally the wagons and confer with your trusted circle of advisers.


Buying a house can be SCARY! It is a big commitment and the biggest purchase you’ve ever made in your life. At least one meltdown when buying a home is not unheard of.  Even when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out, stick with it, you won’t regret it. I hear way more often from people regret of not buying when they could, then working a little harder, or saving a little more. 


first home dream home

Your first home is not your dream home, it’s a stepping stone. Your third or fourth home will be your dream home. Be ready to make some compromises with your first home in order to keep it within your budget. Maybe choose a condo instead of a single family house to keep cost down- if you do decided on a condo you can usually get a better location and security than comparably priced homes but lose privacy and yard. Or: pick a neighborhood that is in transition and up and coming, instead of a neighborhood that is well established. You will get more bang for your buck in a transition neighborhood. Remember you aren’t going to live in your first home forever. Most buyers are very excited to finally buy their first home they forget about all this stuff and just can’t wait to move in.


Stretch Armstrong Toy 1976

Owning a home is always more expensive then renting. So your monthly living expenses will be going up if you are coming from a rental. Buying your first home can be a stretch sometimes. But trust me, it’s a good stretch! When you are young you can afford take more risks, and as you get established in your career you will make more money. It’s ok to be ‘mortgage poor’ when you are young because you are willing to rough it. You may feel like you are in college again, surviving on Ramen noodles and Peanut butter (ok maybe that’s stretching too tight!). LA is expensive, I usually recommend for first time buyers to ask a family member(s) for help with down payment when it comes time to buy. Saving up the down payment is usually first time buyer’s biggest challenge. Most of the time, but not always, family members are happy to help their children and nephews buy their first property if they have been responsible. Their Parents probably helped them when they were buying their first house! Another thing to keep in mind when you are stretching, if you feel like you are stretching too tight, you can always rent a room to a friend for some extra income. Many of my clients have done that.

Hire a Great Realtor

Final piece of advice: hire a great realtor. When you are buying your first home, you don’t necessarily need the biggest most successful realtor in your neighborhood either. As a first time buyer you need a lot of time and attention, and very busy realtors may not have the time to devote to you. Look for someone who is hardworking, and does real estate full time, who you get along with.



Do I have to pay a realtor commission?

No, as the buyer in Los Angeles you do not pay any real estate commissions. The seller pays the real estate commissions. Check out this article you’d like to see a breakdown of your buyer closing costs.

Do I need a home inspection?

Emphatically YES. Always get a home inspection. The last thing you need as a first time home buyer when you are stretching is to have some large unexpected expense.

Should I get preapproved?

Yes, I recommend talking to a lender and getting preapproved right away. They will be able to talk with you about different loan programs as I mentioned earlier, and give you an idea of your monthly cost so you know how high you are comfortable looking.

What is the best way to get started?

Best way to get started is to just go out and look at some houses. Sunday open houses are a great- you might meet a great realtor while you are out looking if your friends/family don’t have a referral.

Read More

February 2016 – Tips for First Time Home Buyers

James Campbell’s
Tips for First Time Home Buyers
Ready to jump in and start owning? Being prepared is more than a state of mind, it’s a state of adventure! Be prepared with the best Realtor in your corner for success… and these tips…

James Colin Campbell – 8 Tips for First Time Home Buyers!

Click on the link above to watch my video!

February 2016 is a leap year, this year I made the leap to join the largest residential real estate company in the world, in their flagship office. Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills is my new masthead, but I will still be providing the extraordinary client support that I have become known for.

Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills

February also is a great time for new home buyers to get started and to start the process of becoming informed about their market realities. This month’s video presents a few of the most important tips that I believe First Time Buyers should pay careful attention to in preparing to take on one of the most expensive purchases of their life.

Being ready means more than just looking at houses. It helps to have your finances in order and a great realtor in your corner.

If you, a friend, or a family member are seriously considering buying your first home, call me, let me help you!

Do you have any real estate needs? I can help you with that!
Give me a call, I’d love to hear from you!
(310) 388-7332

Read More