Print Out Your Home and Snap it Together

Sounds far fetched, right? Well read this article on the Fast Company Design website about a very cool “kit” house near Copenhagen, DK. Using digital fabrication and a rapid-prototyping machine, it was built in just six weeks at a cost of $300,000.

“The benefit of the technique is that it cuts back on many of the environmentally unsustainable practices of standard residential construction,” writes Suzanne Labarre in her piece. “The next step, the architects say, is to offer on-site, digitally fabricated houses to the public.”

Keep your eyes out for vacant lots, people. I know I will.

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Photos courtesy of eentileen architecture, Facit Homes and Fast Company Design

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Buy or Rent? Do the Math






As I’ve written in recent posts, buyers are definitely outnumbering sellers these days, which is driving up the demand for houses — and driving up prices too. Yet the cost to rent has risen as well because, with low vacancy rates, landlords have leverage. So does it make more sense to buy in this climate, given that rents are high and interest rates remain low? Michelle Higgens’ article in the NY Times this past weekend ventures to find out. Four couples are put under the math microscope and for three of them, buying makes more sense from a sheer numbers standpoint. Obviously there are many variables in the own vs. rent equation, and the NY market has its own nuances. But if you see a bit of yourself in that article and would like to crunch your numbers, I can help. Get in touch with me here and we’ll see what’s best for you.

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Photos courtesy of

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Altadena Tudor is Above it All

List Price $649,000

3BDs/1.5BA in 1,455sq. ft./lot size 7,681 sq. ft.

I previewed homes in Pasadena and Altadena today and really like the value on this charming English Tudor near the top of Fair Oaks Ave. So green up there with trees and shade. Feels like another world.

The house was built in 1926 and has many original details to go along with modern updates, like a chef’s kitchen, central heat and air conditioning. Definitely worth seeing and the price is right, so drop me a line and we’ll go check it out.

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Listing courtesy of Richard Von Ernst, Sotheby’s Int’l Realty, Pasadena

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Prices ⇡ Inventory ⇣

The LA Times’ Alejandro Lazo reports this morning that regional prices hit a four year high as buyers compete for fewer and fewer homes in “desirable” neighborhoods (like prime Silver Lake, shown above). I’ve been talking about this for weeks now. Speaking from the trenches of local real estate, I’ve seen that low inventory, even in “up-and-coming” neighborhoods, has created fierce competition. Houses that look good and are priced well sell quickly, like my recent listing on Hill Street in Eagle Rock that had an all-out bidding war. So I will reiterate that now is a great time to sell. For an expert and always-complimentary price opinion, get in touch with me here. And if you’d like to see the very cool Silver Lake house pictured above (list price just over $1.6M) I’m happy to arrange it.

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Listing courtesy of Andrew Morrison, Sotheby’s Int’l Realty, Los Feliz

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Update: Pas City Council United in “NO” to 710 Fwy Options

A follow up to my post about the new 710 Fwy expansion plans (see below). I think the words of Pasadena City Councilman Victor Gordo sum it up best, as he says of the CalTrans proposal: “If someone were trying to fail more miserably, they couldn’t have done it.” You can read LA Times reporter Adolfo Flores’ coverage of the rancorous meeting here.

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710 Fwy Expansion Buzz(kill) in NELA & SGV

KPCC reported this morning that the long simmering and oft-debated 710 Freeway expansion proposal is back in the spotlight, with a new set of “options” that include an above-ground route through one of my all-time favorite neighborhoods — the serenely beautiful San Rafael section of Pasadena(!) Needless to say, homeowners are not amused. The idea of extending the 710 has been on the launchpad for what seems like forever, and whether you’re a resident of Pas, South Pas, San Marino, La Canada-Flintridge, Glendale, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Alhambra (phew, did I leave anyone out?) you are likely in the crosshairs of at least one of these above-or-below-ground proposals (see above map).

Obviously the when, where and if of this thing could have significant impact on you and the value of your home. To learn more, head over to tonight’s event at the Pasadena Convention Center, where at 6:30 PM the Pasadena City Council will discuss the 710 expansion proposal and open the floor to what I expect will be a vociferous public.

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Map courtesy of the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans).

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A Pair of Aces in NELA

I like these two, both new to the market this week in the happening northeast LA neighborhood of Eagle Rock. Good houses and I think they’re well priced too, offering value along with style.

House #1

List Price $699,000

3BDs/2BA in 1,580sq. ft./lot size 7,799 sq. ft.

Here’s the first house, originally built 1925 but now completely redone with architectural flare. It has views, a pool (!) and check out the interior…

A lot of custom work here, with updated systems throughout and tons of light. It’s an easy walk to the shops/dining of Colorado Blvd and is in the Dahlia School District. This one won’t last, so if you want to see it get in touch with me here.

House #2

List Price $589,000

3BDs/2BA in 1,180sq. ft./lot size 5,096 sq. ft.

This second house is a contemporary floor-to-ceiling redo, originally built in 1960. It has panoramic views off the deck and indoor-outdoor flow that many buyers covet.

Open floor plan, sleek design — and a detached office/studio/creative space. Pretty much everything’s new and updated and my guess is that this house will see plenty of interested buyers.

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House #1 listing courtesy of Grant Linscott, Keller-Williams Realty, Los Feliz

House #2 listing courtesy of Robert Carey, Sotheby’s Int’l Realty, Pasadena

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Architecture = Social Change (?)

I’m a huge fan of the Hayden Tract in Culver City and advise anyone who loves innovative, modern architecture to go check it out. Here’s a great way to do it: on Saturday, 8/18 there will be a panel discussion and self-guided walking tour of this massive and inspiring collection of structures that architect Eric Own Moss has been creating over the past 25 years.

From the SAH/SCC website: “We begin with a dialogue with developers Frederick and Laurie Samitaur-Smith, whose visionary belief in the transformative power of architecture, art and design has revitalized a forlorn industrial area, creating a bustling community for creative workers.”

The event is $29 for SAH/SCC members, $55 for non-members and must be purchased in advance. Includes refreshments. More info can be found here.

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Photo of the Hayden Tract / Samitaur Tower courtesy of the Society of Architectural Historians Southern California Chapter website.

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More from the Big Picture

Joe Light has an article in the WSJonline today titled “Is the Real Estate Rebound for Real?” Happily his findings are yes, at least according to Warren Buffet and a host of portfolio managers who are bullish for r/e related holdings. The article cites a key indicator in our trade where we look at the inventory of new, single-family homes. Six months is a tipping point — meaning — if the number of available homes could be sold in less than six months, that tells us we’re in a strong market (the opposite being true if it would take more than six months to sell those homes). So the skies in the big housing picture continue to brighten and local inventory remains low. Some of you sellers out there might be waiting to see a bit more “upside” before bringing your property to market. However I will caution that if interest rates rise (as they did this past week, slightly) then the time to sell your house is now, in this market where sellers are rare and buyers plentiful.

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Photo of the Kentfield Hillside Residence courtesy of Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects and Arch Daily

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