Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where, oh where are the good deals? In brand-new condos.

I looked at several new condo projects with buyers yesterday. As we all know, there's a glut of new condos on the market. I think you have to be an optimistic person to be a real estate developer these days. Either that, or you just don't let facts confuse you. Anyway, most of the developers are wheeling and dealing as they are very anxious to get these units sold, and there are actual good deals to be had. As financing has been difficult over the last several years, most of the buildings have already gone ahead and gotten approved for FHA loans, which used to be a major hurdle. Many developers will also not only negotiate on price, but pay some/all closing costs, buy down rates, etc.

Anyway, here's my take on several of the buildings I saw. All offered units from the low $400's to the high $500's. Yes, there were a couple of units in the high $300's.

5254 Corteen Place, Valley Village. Nice, typical finishes: wood and stone floors, neutral colors. Each unit is three stories, with the top floor leading to a roof top patio. The views weren't great. This street is all multi-unit dwellings and parking can be a problem.

5232 Satsuma, North Hollywood (pictured). This 28-unit development is represented by one of the all-time broker class acts in local real estate, Anita Rich. Unfortunately, the developer made many design choices which will be unpopular, I think. The units are very loft-y, and as such, there are next to no kitchen cabinets. Whew! I've never heard any potential buyer say that they needed less cabinets, not more. Some units had painted concrete floors. That's an interesting choice, but again, I don't know too many people who would want that over wood or carpet. I know this "loft" style is cheaper for designers and developers, but let's stop pretending we live in an abandoned industrial building on the lower east side of NY, okay?

5227 Denny, North Hollywood. The top floor units have incredibly high ceilings. Very nice finishes -- at least the ones we could see, as the building electricity was off. Seems like they're offering lots of incentives.

10609 Bloomfield, Toluca Lake. Certainly the nicest location that we saw. This is a bank liquidation (the bank took it back from the developer) and there are only two units left. Nice finishes, but unfortunately the units have no patios or balconies.

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