when should i buy a home

The NELA Opportunity Window

"When is the best time to sell my house?" “When should I buy a home?” Truthfully there is no bad time to sell or buy a home, so once you’re ready, go for it! Especially right now!

The Northeast LA Opportunity Window (N.O.W.)

There have been a few things happening in the area, and right now there is a huge opportunity for both Buyers and Sellers to make a move in Northeast LA. It might be helpful to understand the real estate market in Los Angeles, so let's get started.

A Little Back Story about the Bubble

During the real estate bubble, every single neighborhood in Los Angeles saw an increase in value: the Beach, the Valley, Beverly Hills, South Central, the East Side, everywhere. They all increased with the same intensity right until the bubble popped.

As a general baseline, Los Angeles County had an 18-month decline at the end of 2007, prices stayed flat for about three years, and then started back up in 2012.

Specific Real Estate Trends

There are four categories of “Recovery Trends” in Los Angeles, and almost every area in the city falls into one of these four groups:

  1. Some places in the city where hardly affected by the recession, like Beverly Hills and San Marino. They blinked, and just kept going.
  2. Some dipped briefly and then went right back up, in areas like Silver Lake, Pasadena, Santa Monica, etc.
  3. Some crashed and never came back, mostly areas like South Central, and East LA
  4. Here is the most interesting group: The ones that crashed and had no intention of recovering, but then they got “discovered” by outsiders.

What areas am I talking about? Northeast LA of course! Highland Park, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Boyle Heights, etc.

Truthfully there is no bad time to sell or buy a home, so once you’re ready, go for it!

I Call This “Merit Appreciation”

These "discovered" neighborhoods really had no business selling at these prices before the bubble, so after the crash, they went back to normal prices and basically followed along with inflation.

But, when the streets became flooded with Hipsters who breathed new life and new local businesses into the neighborhoods; they flourished, and home values went up.

This is an increase in value based on what they bring to the table as part of a larger community. This is external appeal, and without it, values will stay flat.

The “Celebration Dip”

the celebration dip

Photo by Ginny / CC BY

When a neighborhood becomes popular, the demand is high, supply is low, and prices go up. The neighbors begin to see all the homes selling for incredible prices, and they jump on the bandwagon to list their property and cash in.

There are two things that happen:

  1. The new houses for sale are not the same quality of the ones getting the attention but want the same price as the good ones.
  2. Even if they are the same quality, they still saturate the market with excess supply, demand pulls back, and the market cools off temporarily.

I call this the Celebration Dip because it reminds me of a football team that scores a touchdown, dances in the end zone, and it takes a while to re-focus and get their groove back.

The “Opportunity Window”

When this Celebration Dip takes place, Sellers become frustrated with their home sitting on the market, they expire, and fewer new listings come on the market as a result which this takes care of the saturation problem for the serious Sellers.

As a bonus, Buyers get to experience a temporary “softening” of the market, which means fewer Buyers to compete with because of the excess supply of homes, and also to negotiate with very motivated Sellers. This translates into a great time to buy a home.

Every marketplace experiencing this kind of “Merit Appreciation” will have its very own “Celebration Dip” and subsequent “Opportunity Window”.

In Northeast LA, this is what I call the "NELA Opportunity Window" (N.O.W.) and it’s the best time to sell or buy a home.

(Featured Photo by Design Milk / CC BY)

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