The Hidden Gardens of Mt Washington

August seems to be an international OOO month, but if you haven’t decided where to travel, staycation is always a good idea. There are so many beautiful places to discover in Los Angeles, and the city is large enough to make you feel that you’ve traveled far and wide without actually leaving town.  If the summer finds you in Northeast Los Angeles, may we suggest visiting the serene grounds of Self-Realization Fellowship – one of our favorite spots in beautiful Mt. Washington. Perched on a hilly street, the park is an oasis of calm – and has a fascinating history of all its own.

A Glamorous Hotel in the Golden Days of Hollywood

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“Where in Los Angeles can one obtain a veranda view of 100 miles of ocean frontage, 100 miles of rugged mountains, three emerald valleys and several cities? On Mount Washington, where you can live and be immune from dust, mud, smoke, noise, fog and frost! “– The Mount Washington Eagle (an advertising insert in Los Angeles Times), April 18, 1909

The developer, map maker and Athletic Club board member, Robert Marsh, had long been enchanted with Mount Washington. Partnering with a fellow enthusiast and electrical works manufacturer, Arthur St. Claire Perry, Marsh purchased 565 acres of property on the mountain.

As the pair began developing, Marsh and Perry decided to build a short funicular railway to take visitors up the mountain to its main attraction, the three story Mission Revival Mount Washington Hotel. Opened in 1909, the elegant hotel attracted visitors with its observation deck, tennis count and Japanese garden, and was often frequented by the moviemakers that worked in nearby Highland Park and Edendale early movie studios. Though the hotel and the railway are a thing of the past, you can still catch the aura of history by visiting its mission style station at the corner of Avenue 43 and Marmion Way.

The Home of Paramahansa Yogananda

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It’s hard to believe, but there was once a time when there were no yoga studios to be found in Los Angeles. Paramahansa Yogananda is credited to have been one of the gurus that brought the teachings of Eastern Philosophy to the West  in the mid-20th century; he came to LA in 1930’s and founded the Self Realization Fellowship monastery. In 1950, he made the former site of Mt Washington Hotel his home, and as yoga gained increasing popularity by the late 60s, the SFT became more and more well-known. Legend has it that Elvis Presley visited the center in Mount Washington in search of advice – luckily the monks advised him to continue his singing career.

Today, the contemplative garden is still a part of a working monastery.  Filled with native flora, it’s a wonderful space for quiet reflection while taking in the gorgeous views of downtown Los Angeles. There are lots of spots to perch and meditate within the garden surrounding “Yogiji”‘s original home, and we especially love the space that is known as “The Leaf Temple”– a beautiful sunken meditation garden beneath the boughs of Oak. Stop by to take a break – and if Mt. Washington neighborhood has you enchanted, come visit our beautiful listing around the corner from the garden – 4617 Cleland Ave will be Open this Saturday, 2-4P.

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Sprawl is Bad and Smart People Don’t Like It


The Atlantic’s excellent CITYLAB website has a pair of articles that matter to us, as we support sensible urban growth that increases residential density and accessibility in the neighborhoods we serve.

We have seen firsthand that educated young people are moving to urban centers in droves, in fact many of our clients put “walkability” on the very top of their wish list. Which is great for many reasons, one of them being that sprawl is extremely expensive. Oh and it’s horrible for the environment too.

To find your ideal urban dwelling, contact us at

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Why 2016 is a Great Year to Buy a Home


Last month CNNMoney laid out four reasons why 2016 is a great year to buy a home, read it here. To summarize:

  1. Home prices will level off (in fact they already have in the Eastside markets we serve).
  2. Inventory will increase (also has already happened).
  3. Mortgage rates will likely rise (not dramatically, but every little increase costs you).
  4. Rents remain extremely expensive (and won’t get cheaper anytime soon).

All lights for buyers are flashing green, meaning it’s time to put the #1 Eastside realtor in your corner — Tracy Do.

Last year our team here at Tracy Do Real Estate closed over 150 successful transactions in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Our knowledge and experience means you have a proven, effective ally in your search, which is critical in a market that remains competitive for the most desirable and well-priced homes.

If you have questions about the process, or want to know how to get started, you can contact Tracy directly anytime at 323-842-4001 or

Like the article on CNNMoney says, it’s a new year and a great time to buy. We’re ready to guide you to the home that you always wanted, and will love.

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Did I Miss My Chance to Buy a House?!

No, you haven’t. Not even close.

Yes, the Fed raised its key interest rate today by .25% and plans to gradually nudge that rate further over the next many years. Key word: gradual. The increase was long overdue and is, in the eyes of the vast majority of economists, a good idea.

Importantly, interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages are not likely to be seriously impacted by today’s decision. Early indicators are that they will tick up a little, but that could happen even on the most normal of days. Your golden window of opportunity is still wide open. However it’s certainly fair to say that if you have been considering a home purchase, you might want to step up your efforts so that you can lock into a loan rate sooner rather than later.

CNN Money reports on this story with clarity here and here.

To kick your property search into higher gear, contact us today at Tracy Do Real Estate.

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Home Prices Tick Slightly Downward

The LA Times report is very much in line what we’ve been seeing for the past several weeks. An increase in inventory is the likely culprit, among other small factors.

“The seasonal forces are in place,” said CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage. “It is normal to see a dip in the median.”

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Renting is Expensive and LA Takes the Prize

According to…

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Time to buy? It makes more sense now than ever before, for lots of reasons including this one. Renting does make sense for some people and certain circumstances. But if you can afford the down payment for a home, you must consider buying one — and soon. Interest rates remain low amidst stock market fluctuations, but according to most financial experts those rates will be rising in the near future.

Getting started in your home search is easy. Contact us today at Tracy Do Real Estate.

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Frank Gehry and the LA River


We love the LA River, which runs through the heart of NELA and the many neighborhoods where we sell real estate. The prospect of Frank Gehry being involved in the design and beautification of this waterway has us excited to no end, especially if it includes more biking and walking trails, and other opportunities for recreation.

Of course, big urban projects tend to arrive with controversy in tow, as the LA Times reported last week.

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Maybe You Need… a Bigger House?

Last week the LA Times reported on an increase in the number of adult “millennials” who live with their parents, this in spite of the fact that their economic circumstances have largely improved. A study on the subject points to shifting attitudes as a driving force, among other factors.

If you have changes in your living situation, or need to make them, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime at Tracy Do Real Estate.

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Watch: Small Lot Homes = Controversy in LA

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KCET is running a clip about the rancor over our city’s Small Lot Ordinance, a bill which passed rather quietly several years ago but is resonating louder as it is increasingly implemented. The measure allows for multiple small-footprint houses to be built on properties that were previously occupied by a single dwelling. On the Eastside, SLO developments have found eager buyers who are attracted to the design, technology and inner-city access that many of the Small Lot developments provide. Opposing them are the people who dislike the SLO, and have formed neighborhood coalitions to curb or even stop the development of these new homes.

This under-8-minute piece on the KCET website is a quick primer and presents the views of both sides. Are Small Lot developments an “out of character” nuisance that only serve to displace affordable housing? Or are they the energy-and-water efficient path to growing denser, more walkable neighborhoods in our urban core?

Watch the clip and decide for yourself. At TDRE we support the Small Lot Ordinance, and always hope that the homes are built to the proportion, character and spirit of the location that they occupy. We certainly understand the controversy. But with prices high and inventory low, home buyers need options. The SLO is providing them, and we would be very happy to introduce you to a Small Lot home.

Contact us anytime at Tracy Do Real Estate.

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