Real Estate Fraud

This is an activity that is purposely done to misrepresent information on real estate documents. It also involves the money transfers. It is also called mortgage fraud. The reason that it is referred to as this is that the fraud generally takes place with the mortgage application. Real estate fraud, in the United States, can have heavy penalties like imprisonment and large fines.

Such a crime can be committed in many different ways. It appears to happen more often when property prices are on the rise. Because of the simplicity of the fraud, some types are seen more than other frauds. Some are not as common because they are more complicated. One of the common forms of such fraud, according to the IRS is preparing two settlement statement sets that are different from each other. In one of the statements, the accurate property-selling price is written, which the buyer receives. The other one will depict a higher selling price that is exaggerated. When the mortgage lender approves the loan for the exaggerated price, the seller is given the amount that is stated in their copy of the settlement statement. The one who committed the fraudulent settlement statements will keep the money that is left over. If there are other conspirators, the money will be divided among them. It could be the entire excess money or a percentage of it.

Using qualification that are fraudulent is another type of real estate fraud. These fraudulent qualifications are used when applying for a mortgage or home loan to help them get the mortgage. In this form of real estate fraud, the real estate agent will usually assist the buyer. The fraudulent qualifications can include fabricating credit reports or history of employment. These two involve the obvious misrepresentation of data but not all real estate fraud is easy to see as these two examples. If buyers who do not intend to commit real estate fraud because they do not know the laws can accidentally commit mortgage fraud.

If a buyer has a down payment by using money that was given as a gift it is legal. If this gift is re-paid to the who gave the gift, this is considered a case of real estate fraud. The gift used to make a down payment cannot be repaid for it to be legal. Another type of property fraud is when the buyer accidentally fails to disclose any financial liabilities on their mortgage application. It becomes fraud when it is not taken care of before the loan is approved. Property flipping can become real estate fraud if you make false representations about the value and condition of the property when you sell it for a much higher price than you paid for the property.

Affordable Housing for the Middle Class

“What does affordable housing in Gurgaon, with its high-lifestyle, urbanization, and posh-societies look like?” You may think, given that Residential Flats varies in its meaning for different demographic profiles. Especially in the Indian real estate market, affordable housing has a connotation for housing for the lower income group (LIG), by which they too can enjoy a comfortable living and security. With the incumbent government’s focus on this section and more on the affordable housing, it seems like the real estate sector has been able to get the boost that it had been waiting for of late.

However, there is an important trend that needs to be taken note of before the government claims that its affordable housing project is a success. The term affordable housing, in different contexts, also has a local meaning. According to this, affordable housing includes housing options for a segment of population that can become potential home buyers in a city. If we take this definition into consideration, there is a sizeable population in every city, which although it will not identify with or fall under the LIG, is equally incapable of allotting a large budget for buying homes. It is not only sensitive and cost-wary but is looking forward to finding a house of a decent budget-size within the realms of the city. A typical example is of the residential flats in Gurgaon, which although are well-furnished, but do not still fall under the budget for the middle class.

When we take this population’s demands and needs a little more seriously, we find that there is a dearth of properties in good locations within the city, which buyers can afford. These buyers often have a budget of INR 30-40 lakhs, but more cities including Delhi NCR have a deficit in properties which match this budget range. Usually properties which are around INR 20 lakhs are still on the outskirts lacking good transportation and other facilities required by the urban middle class. This means that there is indeed a requirement for more housing under the affordable housing section, where different demographic profiles can find properties for themselves.

There is an urgent need for developers to come up with budget housing projects in the larger cities. As modern India moves towards development and rising aspirations, affordable housing and the security that comes with it, is increasing. This appears to be a very high opportunity for developers who can count on a boost in the real estate industry. More absorption of the housing projects in the urban cities is also a strong indicator of the socioeconomic growth in the country, thereby projecting a positive image. While the demand is strong and only increasing, there are a lot of policy-level changes that need to be introduced.

Not only will the affordable housing for the middle class prove to be a sustainable business model for the future, it will also allow more cities to come up to ranks. More affordable housing projects will assure developers that they do not struggle with inflation or even setbacks in the economy. Another trend that one needs to channelize is that more real estate investors are now eyeing budget and affordable housing projects. Where luxury homes and premium homes find it hard to make it through a rough economy, affordable housing is still on the move. The healthy demand in addition with more money coming in steady from investors means a healthy micro-economy. It is now time for builders and the government to give this proposition a try, ensuring that the overall development of the country happens throughout.

Gurgaon based real estate company’s residential flats in Gurgaon include their massive projects of Solera (Sector 107), Synera (Sector 81, NH8) Andour Heights (Sector 71), Orchard Avenue (Sector 93), Grand Iva (Sector 103), Roselia (Sector 95A), Serenas (Sector 36) and The Millennia (Sector 37D). At present, Gurgaon based real estate company’s Signum project offers retail shops in Gurugram in sector 36, 95A, 93, 103, 71, 81, and 107.

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Home Repairs and Alternatives: 5 Pros And Cons

Many homeowners, at a variety of points – of – time, decide to pursue certain repairs and/ alterations. Some are out of necessity, because of damage, and/ or wear – and – tear, while others, are for cosmetic, and/ or taste – related reasons! One should consider a variety of factors, before undergoing costly expenses/ expenditures. These include: how long you will be living in this house; your alternatives; the Return on Investment (R.O.I.), etc. This article will review 5 positives (pros) and/ or negatives (cons), related to home repairs and/ or alterations.

1. Cosmetic changes: This category includes items, which improve the appearance of the property, but usually are minor, in nature! For example, inside or outside painting might be cosmetic. If you are painting, simply to change the look, color, theme, etc, it falls into the category, but if it is necessitated, because of structural damage (for example, from water damage, etc), it’s a far different scenario! If you plan to keep the home, for a substantial period of time, you have far more flexibility, in terms of color, etc, than if you are planning to sell it in the foreseeable, near future!

2. Kitchen: Does your kitchen need remodeling and/ or renovation, for structural reasons, or to improve its look and appearance? How much you spend on remodeling your kitchen, must be put into perspective! A well – considered amount of spending, usually makes sense and has a reasonable Return on Investment (R.O.I.), but exorbitant spending is another thing. A homeowner can spend whatever he decides, but should have a somewhat, realistic perspective of its value, especially to prospective buyers.

3. Bathrooms: What is the reason, you wish to renovate/ upgrade your bathrooms? Compare the options and alternatives, including determining, if a system, such as Bath Fitters, makes sense, as opposed to a complete demolition and rebuilding! Again, upgrading bathrooms, might. either, make financial sense, or not!

4. HVAC: What is the condition of your heating, ventilating and air conditioning, system (HVAC)? What is the useful life of your heating system, and should you change it (for example, converting from oil to gas)? Consider any decisions related to conversions, carefully and thoroughly. If you wish to put a central air conditioning system, into the house, should you go, the convention route, or the ductless one? Consider costs, economies, space – sacrifices, and the positives, versus the negatives! Before acting, always get several bids, and compare apples – to – apples!

5. Grounds maintenance: How much money, should you commit to grounds maintenance, landscaping, trees, bushes, plants, flowers, etc? Those thinking of selling, in the near future, should focus on curb appeal, etc!

Homeowners have options, in terms of the best way to proceed, for home repairs and alternatives. Know what you need, and want, and thoroughly consider!

4 Ways To Wholesale Real Estate

Want to invest in real estate with no financial risk and no money or credit? Wholesaling houses is a popular choice. I personally think wholesaling can be a challenging way to get started, but the fact that you can get started in real estate investing without any barrier of entry makes wholesaling an attractive option. If you can get good at this side of the business, you will be success with anything you want to do. The reason I say that is finding deals is what makes a wholesaler successful. If you can get good at finding deals, you have unlimited potential.

Once you find a deal, you need to understand how to sell it to make your profit. Here are four ways you can structure your wholesale properties.

Contract Assignment: This is the easiest, but comes with some risks if not done correctly. It is also somewhat restrictive as bank owned properties will prevent this. This works well when you negotiate your deals directly with the seller. The way this works is you will get a house under contract and then you will assign your rights in the contract to another buyer for a fee. That new buyer will take on the rights and responsibilities in the contract and will close in your place. It is best to get your fee paid up front, but it is very common to get your fee when your buyer buys the house. Here are a few things to keep in mind when assigning contracts.

Be sure that you always disclose to your seller that you are or may assign the agreement to another buyer for a fee. I suggest you actually put this in the contract. Sellers should be OK with this if you are transparent that you are an investor who buys houses for a profit before you start to negotiate.

I would get money from your money that is at least enough to cover any earnest money you put up with your seller. That way if your buyer defaults on the agreement you at least cover your costs. Always try to get the entire fee paid when you assign the contract.

I like this way the best because it is easy to do on your end, it is easy for the buyer and the buyer’s lender, and it is the cheapest way to go.

Double Close: This just means that you actually buy the house and then resell it. There are several ways to do this, but the most common is to buy and sell in the same day or within a day. Typically, you will need to bring in financing to get your closing done with the seller, which is why this is my least preferred method to wholesale. Also, because you have two closings you will have two sets of closing costs, so it is the most expensive way too. With that said, some wholesalers prefer this method because they do not have to disclose to the seller their intent to resell and they can both keep their deal with the seller and their deal with their buyer private. It is believed by some that this is a good way to protect your profits. The information will all become public record at some point, but that is well after the closing.

This is the method you will use by default if you do not do your contract on the front end correctly, so we do see double closing frequently.

Flip the Entity: This has become the most common way to wholesale in my market. Most, if not all, the successful wholesalers will use this strategy. Especially when wholesaling foreclosures where contract assignments are forbidden.

The way this works is the wholesaler will set up a separate entity, like an LLC or a Trust, and put that entity as the buyer of the house to be wholesaled. They will then sell the entity itself for a fee. The benefit with using this strategy is that actual contract on the house does not change. Since the buyer of the house is the entity, there are no issues with any regulation or assignment restrictions. The downside is it could be more work because of the extra step to set up the entity, and there could be additional fees to register the entity with the state. The risk for the buyer is whenever you buy a company you are buying all of it. So, if the entity was used in another transaction and owes money to anyone, the new buyer could be on the hook. Knowing this, the best way to do this transaction is with a brand-new entity used for this one purpose.

Relationship Close: I don’t know if there is an actual name for this method. In fact, it is rarely seen. What I mean by relationship close is that you have such a strong relationship with a buyer that you write offers in the buyer’s name. For this to work, you should be a licensed agent and preview houses for your buyer. You would need to understand their criteria and only offer on houses they will want to buy. I have a client that works this way. He has an agent write his offers and the agent/wholesaler gets paid a commission with each successful closing. They do 2 to 3 deals a month with this strategy. My client just signs contracts without looking at them at this point and trusts what the wholesaler is putting together solid offers. There is always an inspection clause protecting the buyer and the agent, but more than 9 out of 10 houses that go under contract close. That is because the agent/wholesaler knows the business and knows what this buyer will buy.

I would stay away from this method, especially if you are just starting out. A lot can go wrong. I wanted to mention it because it is one of the 4 ways that I see people wholesale. If you are just getting started I would focus on contract assignments and then flipping the entity.

Highland Park, CA Homes and Real Estate – A Look at the Numbers

In Los Angeles real estate circles, everyone is talking about Highland Park. Like other Northeast LA neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Eagle Rock and Mt. Washington, Highland Park is in a state of gentrification as new stores and restaurants are popping up on York Blvd. and homes are being purchased and restored. As a result, homes in Highland Park are in demand and prices have steadily risen. But gentrification isn’t the only reason. Highland Park is a wonderful area to call home.

Highlan Park is an amiable historic neighborhood located in Northeast Los Angeles. It is a hilly neighborhood located in the San Rafael Hills along the Arroyo Seco. It is southwest of Eagle Rock and Northeast of Cypress Park. People from many ethnic and socioeconomic groups call this neighborhood “home”. The weather is pristine with the highest monthly average temperature being 73 degrees in the hottest month of July and 57 degrees in the coldest month of December. Highland Park experiences light rain; January receives the highest amount at 4.6 inches total. According to Walk Score, Highland Park is the most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with a score of 72. It is very accessible and most errands can be completed on foot. It has some public transportation and is somewhat bikeable with a transit score of 47 and a bike score of 53.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census there were 57,566 residents in the 3.42 square miles of neighborhood. That is an average of 16,385 people per square mile. Highland Park is one of the highest density areas in Los Angeles. Highland Park grew to 60,835 people by 2008. The ethnicity break down was as follows: Latinos, 72.4% Whites 11.3%, Asians 11.2%, Blacks 2.4% and others 2.6%. A larger than average 57.8% residents were born abroad. 55.3% of them were born in Mexico and 12% were from El Salvador. In the male population 52.2% were married, 41.2% had never been married, 4.9% had been divorced and 1.6% were widowed. For the women: 50.4% were married, 33.2% were never married, 9.3% were divorced and 7.1% were widowed. The demographic for never married was among the county’s highest. 14.3% of residents who were 25 and above had a four-year degree. This was average for Los Angeles. 45.1% of the residents were born in a foreign city. This was a high number for Los Angeles. 4.9% of people in the population were veterans; this was a low number for Los Angeles. The average age of residents was 28, which is seen as young compared to the other areas of Los Angeles.

The average household income in 2008 was $45,478, which is an average number for Los Angeles. The average household size was 3.3 people, which is 25% higher than the national average. Renters occupied60.9% of housing units, which is 105% higher than the national average. Owners completed the other 39.1%, which is 58% lower than the national average.

Zillow states that Highland Park’s home value index is $662,800, which is up 13.1% since last year and with a projected increase of 4.3% predicted over next year. The market temperature is very hot and ideal for sellers. The average price per square foot is $582, which is higher than the Los Angeles average of $448. The average price of homes is $652,500, which is 123% higher than the national average. The average rent per month is $2,600, being 22% higher than the national average. The current Market Health is 5.3/10, which is relative to other markets across the country. Highland Park will continue to grow and develop.

Because Highland Park is in a stage of gentrification with rising home prices, it is highly advised for home-buyers and home sellers to seek out an experienced Highland Park realtor who specializes in the area.

Tricks You Should Play While Dealing With Commercial Landlords

Commercial real estate deals like leasing, renting and purchasing the office space or any other commercial properties can turn out to be disgraceful if you go bland in front of the landlords who are very much experienced in the field.

In order to avoid such things happening, you should be playing some tricks while dealing with commercial landlords.

So, what are those tricks that put you in an upper edge over the landlords in a deal?

There are lots of tricks, but the best and effective ones are here.

1. Don’t show your weaknesses

Well, your weakness can be a trump card for the landlords! It’s same as in other businesses; people look out for your weaknesses, and you’re out if you keep it to display.

Of course, you can’t be an expert in all the fields, but how you manage is what matters.

Suppose you are Looking for an Office Space in a specific area and you found one; the office space has all the amenities you were looking for, and you don’t want to look for any other spaces. In this case, if the landlords get to know you are in love with the property, definitely you will not be in a good position to negotiate. The landlord may also quote a high price for the property taking your urgency as a benefit.

2. Play like an expert (Even if you’re not)

The real estate sector is not for those who are not aware of the field and the market. However, you are looking out for an office space to set your business up, and not to get into the real estate business!

But what you need to know is it’s always a benefit for landlords when the tenants are not aware of the market value and the field. You’ll be in a position to accept and agree for whatever the landlords say. So, play like an expert even if you are a novice in the field of real estate. As said in the above point, don’t let them know that you have no idea about the market value.

3. Make a great first impression!

First impression is always the best impression!

Yes, when you meet the landlord in the deal, try building a great first impression. It definitely makes a huge difference that sometimes the landlords will be convinced for a low rent or the advance amount.

Reducing the cost is not the only reason for making a good impression at first, as there are lots of other benefits like the landlord might not be willing to proffer the space to any others even if they offer high rents. So, build an impression such that the landlord sees you as a potential and trustworthy tenant.

4. Hire a skilled commercial real estate agent

One of the simplest tricks ever to deal with experienced landlords is to hire a skilled commercial real estate agent. An experienced can play all the above mentioned tricks with great ease, and put you in an upper edge in the deal. Even when you are not in a good position to negotiate for a space, a skilled agent can completely turn the deal to your side making it rewarding.

Echo Park Real Estate: A Look at the Numbers

From LA’s earliest days, people have wanted to live in the storied neighborhoods of NELA. In a densely populated area where residents are always in the process of coming and going, there are always homes for sale in Echo Park at any given time. Since the early 1920’s, the real estate here has been in demand and that is how it is today. Why? Let’s take a closer look and see what the numbers say.

This is an eclectic city located in Central Los Angeles about ten minutes from Downtown. At the center of the city is the renowned Echo Park Lake in Elysian Park, which is the site of special events like the Lotus Festival. It is northwest of Chinatown and Downtown, northeast of Westlake and south east of Silver Lake.

It is split in to four districts:

  • Angelino Heights – This area is known for the beautiful Victorian homes that are preserved by the city’s ordinances.
  • Elysian Heights – This area is historically known for being the home of famous counter-culture artists, filmmakers, architects and political radicals.
  • Historic Filipino town – This section is located in the southwest section.
  • Victor Heights – A lovely area scattered with Bungalows and Stucco homes that share breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the Civic Center.

Throughout the four districts, the most common types of homes are Bungalows, Cottages, Victorians and Stuccos. According to the 2000 U.S. Census there were 40,455 people in there. Spread over 2.4 square miles there were approximately 16,868 people per square mile. This makes Echo Park one of the highest density areas in Los Angeles County. The median household income was $37,708, which is low for Los Angeles County. The average household size was 3.0, which is average for the county.

This city has a high Walk Score of 83/100. This means that most errands can be accomplished on foot within the city. This city’s transit score is 62. This city has good transit and provides its residents with many public transportation options. These include the Metro Red and Metro Purple Line, numerous bus routes and ride sharing options from Relay Rides. This city received a bike score of 49 because of the steep hills and minimal bike lanes.

According to Zillow, the average home value in Echo Park is $795,100. This value has increased 14.4% since last year and Zillow estimates it will continue to rise 4.3% to $829,000 over the next year. The average price of homes that are currently listed is $742,450. The median list price per square foot is $618, which is higher than the Los Angeles average of $451. The average rental price is $2,967 a month. Zillow has given the Market Health a score of 8.2/10, which is very healthy in comparison to other markets across the country. This is based on a series of metrics including how fast the homes are selling compared to the past rate. Echo Park’s prime location and thrilling culture will be sure to keep the housing market rolling for many years to come.

Altadena, CA Is a City on the Rise

In close proximity to the highly successful City of Pasadena, Altadena is gaining some well-earned respect reflected in its home values.

With the region north east of Downtown Los Angeles – the most western area of what is termed the San Gabriel Valley – neighborhoods and entire cities are on the rise. Nowhere is this clearer today than in Altadena, CA. Homes in Altadena are being restored to their original luster and Altadena real estate is through the roof when it comes to home values.

A friend of mine owned one of those 1920’s storybook Mediterranean-style homes with a red tile roof up in Altadena. It was perched on top of a knoll and nestled among mature trees. Rainbow colored bougainvillea vines spilled off the rooftop. Sitting in the breakfast nook, one could marvel at the San Gabriel mountain range from its French windows. The house had plaster walls that met the ceiling in a curve. The floors were constructed of large wooden planks, giving the place a kind of Greek Island art studio feel. An idyllic setting for those looking to get away from it all, the neighborhood of Altadena is located just North of its big city sister, Pasadena.

Just being in close proximity to gorgeous Pasadena – of Rose Parade fame – has never been enough to create the real estate buzz that Altadena has longed for until now. After all, Pasadena homes for sale have always been in great demand and the Pasadena real estate market is always booming. Now it’s Altadena’s turn and home sellers are giddy while homebuyers are gnashing their teeth for waiting too long to enter the Altadena real estate market.

John and Fred Woodbury launched the first subdivision, naming it Altadena in 1887. Recognizing the awesome scenic beauty of the foothills below the Angeles Crest mountain range, millionaires from the east erected the first mansions along Mariposa Street. This became known as millionaire’s row. Now let’s fast-forward to the civil rights era, a generation later. When the public schools were desegregated a phenomenon known as “White Flight” occurred in this once desirable spot. The Caucasian people pulled out and headed to the west side and the African American population doubled in size overnight. Sadly, the properties fell into disrepair and the area turned into a far less desirable neighborhood than it is today.

Thirty years later the gentrification of North East Los Angeles began to take shape. The rundown and neglected homes were purchased cheap and renovated, then flipped. North East Los Angeles became a prime target for the real estate investor and buyers of modest means scouting for their first house.

Before long the community was thriving once again and the curb appeal of these older neighborhoods improved. The ongoing restorative movement in Altadena, which began in the nineties, has helped to increase property values. As things get spruced up and the area becomes more attractive and expensive, the buyer naturally becomes more discriminating and sophisticated. Like it or not, right or wrong, he rich get richer, and those of a lower socio-economic status are often driven out. Some call it gentrification. Some call it progress. Once considered to be a common working class neighborhood, Altadena now has a private country club with tennis courts and swimming pools. A remarkable contrast to what was “the other side of the tracks” during the 1980s.

For foodies with a sweet tooth and taste for authentic Italian Gelato, take a drive down East Altadena Drive and find Leo Bulgarini’s gelateria. The Rome-born ex-sommelier chose this hot spot to open his gourmet gelato shop and that says it all. The new generation of “Hipsteropolis” bars is also finding its way to this side of town. If you have a good pallet and get a hankering for good French wine, Altadena Ale and Wine House is right around the corner. These specialty shops cater to the elite, which is of course a good sign that the community of Altadena is definitely on the rise.

You can still find a single family home in this glorious horse country for less than half a million. In California’s booming real estate market, that is unheard of. It won’t be long before the middle class will be priced out so its time for homebuyers to make their move. Start by hiring a real estate agent who specializes in the area and who has proven success assisting buyers and sellers alike in Altadena.

Shadow Inventory – What Is It and How to Find It

Many Investors have been asking me about shadow inventory how much is out there and how to get their hands on it. Shadow inventory usually refers to the supply of homes that has not yet hit the market, but “hiding” in the background. In Real Estate this refers to foreclosures (REO or bank owned properties) or those close to the process.

Banks and mortgage loan servicing companies typically hold onto properties that haven’t seen a mortgage payment for 90 days and in some cases even 2-3 years.

Why do they hold on so long?

Banks hold on since it allows them to release their inventory over time to keep their books in check and also to provide that easy liquidation to stimulate the real estate economy when necessary. Banks will now be getting more money for those newly released properties, then say 2 years ago, due to the steady increase in home prices and low inventory levels. If they chose to release all at once, it would flood the market with “distressed properties” and bring down property values.

How much “Shadow Inventory” is still out there?

Foreclosures have been steadily declining since 2013 with the highest shadow inventory then at 2.2MM. According to the National Association of Realtors, there is still about 4 years still on the books and it is possible that we could soon see more!

More “Shadow Inventory”? Why? (HAMP) Home Affordable Modification Program

In 2017 and beyond, many homeowners may find it difficult to make their mortgage payments due to “resets” with HAMP thus pushing them into foreclosure. The government’s Home Affordable Modification Program provided temporary relief to borrowers during the housing crisis. These reliefs ended after five years and now payments will be “reset” thus causing loan payment increases for nearly 900,000 homeowners. Some of those are likely to find it difficult to keep up with the payments in our current economy.

Where do Investors find “Shadow Inventory”?

Forget about calling the loss mitigation department or asking the cashier at your Big Bank. They won’t be able to help you. Instead, savvy real estate investors can approach the REO departments of smaller regional banks, credit unions and portfolio lenders to find out what could be “lurking” in the shadows. This presents an opportunity to beat out the competition and purchase at greater discounts.

But my favorite way to locate “Shadow Inventory” is what I call “Driving for Dollars”. Simply drive through areas that have high foreclosure activity and look for the white sticker posted on the front window or door of the house. This typically contains the information of the bank or asset manager of the property and their phone number. Give them a call and see where they are in the foreclosure process and if they’re ready to make a deal!

The NEW kind of “Shadow Inventory”!

There is a new kind of shadow inventory on the market these days and I’m not talking about the REO kind. Many successful agents have their own shadow inventory. If you’ve been in the business for an extended period and built up a clientele, these clients typically contact you well in advance of the property going on the market. You advise them of the steps needed to get the house ready to show which typically means doing repairs such as paint, carpet, landscaping, staging, etc. Therefore, there is a period of time before the property actually hits the market creating a different type of shadow inventory. Contacting your favorite realtor about this type of inventory can definitely increase your chances of finding that Dream home.

Happy House Hunting!

The Telltale Signs of Gentrification in NELA: Garvanza and Hermon

The rapidly developing area of North East Los Angeles (NELA) lends new meaning to the name “Boomtown”. Following in the footsteps of Highland Park, their neighbor to the West, the picturesque communities of Hermon and Garvanza have been undergoing a major facelift since the nineties. That’s been good news for homeowners who have seen homes in Garvanza and Hermon spike in value as real estate in these areas become highly coveted.

The once neglected Craftsman-style residence has taken-on a new pride of ownership, making the region one of NEL.A.’s most hidden treasures. The ornate architecture of Garvanza encompass nearly every style popular from the 1880’s through the 1940’s including, Queen Anne, Shingle, Mission Revival, and Tudor Revival. The charm of this unique enclave, overflowing with historic buildings, is reminiscent of small towns in Northern California.

The ginger bread homes of Chico come to mind. These dilapidated beauties from yesteryear are being restored back to their original splendor with the ginormous wave of gentrification sweeping across NELA. The rejuvenation of these sad old buildings has helped to launch the local real estate market into the stratosphere. If to gentrify is to make a house or district more attractive to the up and coming “gentry”, then the dramatic improvement of Garvanza and has come to exemplify this very process.

Garvanza is generally considered to be the birthplace of the Arts and Crafts movement in Southern California, and many of these houses have been recognized as official historic landmarks. For the architecture enthusiast and tourist alike, these spectacular structures are a treasure trove of gems to behold. As the area has become more and more fashionable among prosperous hipsters, the local economies have grown as well.

Evidence of gentrification is apparent when hip organic restaurants spring up, able to accommodate all of your dietary needs. It wasn’t that long ago that you would be hard pressed to find a meal outside of what might be available from the street taco vendor, or pedestrian fare served at mediocre restaurants. In present day Garvanza, the gay couple on the go can delight to poached eggs, avocado toast and espresso after Pilates class. There is even a new café custom made for the cycling culture, taking shape on York Boulevard, of course, peddling cycling gear along with lattés and vegan scones to its athletic neighbors. Starbucks is perhaps the most obvious telltale sign of gentrification and York Boulevard is now bookended by the famous green lady logo.

Adjacent to Garvanza, lies the hilly hamlet of Hermon. This ever so quint residential district is known for its sycamore-lined streets and gorgeous period homes. In the not so distant past, you might find people wrenching on the old family car, parked haphazardly on the front lawn. Fences and walls of commercial buildings were “decorated” with gang graffiti. Legions of homeless folk set up camp under the freeway.

Today Hermon real estate is booming and homes for sale in Hermon are handsome and immaculate, the yards well groomed. There are only so many places to go around, in these parts, which make this cozy bedroom community difficult to get into. The limited supply of homes and the ever-growing demand makes Hermon all the more chic among the groovy people. The small town feel, and close proximity to the L.A. metropolis gives you the best of both worlds.