Monday, December 28, 2009
My visit to mostly northeast, mostly Hispanic L.A.
Although I don't usually sell properties in San Fernando, Sylmar, Pacoima and Panorama City, clients Melinda and Gerardo and I looked at several townhomes and gated communities there this weekend. Home prices are much lower than they are in, say, Studio City. There are many short sales and foreclosures in all four of the communities. Here are my other impressions.
San Fernando: nicely laid out, quaint and quiet, probably because it's a separate city. It even has a cute trolley! We found several nice, newer townhouse communities and PUDs.* The home we liked the best had three big, beautiful chickens on the patio. What's that got to do with anything? Nothing, I'm just an animal lover.
*PUD stands for planned urban development. These communities consist of several stand-alone homes on smaller lots and have home owners associations and governing rules. They usually don't have more than 20 homes a piece, and a 5-home community is not uncommon. While few have amenities like pools and tennis courts, many have small outdoor yards and green belts. In my opinion, these communities are great ideas as they offer less congestion than condo communities. However, most developers don't agree as they can't make as much money by building them.
Sylmar: Actually in the L.A. city limits, and a little farther out than San Fernando. Again, nice, newer condos and PUD communities. Sylmar also has many communities with land leases. This means that you can purchase a home, but can only lease the land it's on. The upside is that the homes are much less expensive.
Pacoima: More urban, more congested than the other two. Hansen Hills, close to Hansen Dam is the nicer area, but Pacoima also butts up against many industrial areas. There were many street food vendors along Glenoaks Boulevard, and some had some pretty big operations going on. We were actually in escrow on a house in Hansen Hills, but it didn't appraise and it had lots of physical problems. That's right, it was a flip.
Panorama City: Much more congested than the other towns. Lots and lots of large condo developments, many of which are looking a little run down.