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A home built in 1930 is a lot more interesting than most built in 2010. This is why Northeast Los Angeles is so popular, particularly with younger buyers.

Something is going on with older, vintage houses in Northeast Los Angeles. Younger people are appreciating them and they’re buying them and paying top dollar.  Classic, vintage bungalows are one of the reasons homes for sale in Mt. Washington have become a hot commodity.  Real estate in Pasadena is booming, largely due to increased demand for classic California craftsman and Spanish revival homes.

According to data compiled by the National Association of Realtors in 2016, a national trend shows that the younger the buyer the older the home. The data further shows that they are buying homes that need some TLC, as their own student debt pushed them away from the tricked out condo or townhome into purchasing a single-family home that needs work.

These are national statistics, taking into account not just buyers in Northeast Los Angeles but also Fresno, Tulsa, Cleveland, Atlanta, Boston, and all points in between. But in places like Mt. Washington and Highland Park, homes that are selling to younger buyers (think Craftsman Bungalows and Tudor Revivals) are attractive for several reasons:

Location – Older homes tend to be clustered closer together because they were built before the car culture dominated. So that means those homes in Hermon and Garvanza are also likely close enough to local shops such that you can bike or walk to get a haircut, buy arugula for dinner, or just find a coffee shop for a work break from your home office.

Character – They all have hardwood floors. Real hardwood, not a laminate that might have soft spots with dimples from chair feet. The doorways between rooms might be arched, or have wood framing, or have interesting Spanish tiles. The bathroom will not have a Jacuzzi tub (since few are ever actually used), but a clawfoot one instead. Those old sash windows will work once you spend a weekend getting the ballasts right (there’s a YouTube video for everything). Insulated windows aren’t as important – this is Glassell Park real estate, not Minneapolis.

Price – A home that needs work is a home not everyone wants. So the younger buyer is more likely to land in the price range for a vintage home that is brimming with [unrealized] potential. 

Newer is not necessarily better – Shocking as that may seem, there is much to be said about plaster, not sheetrock, walls. The tight-grained hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished many times over, unlike laminates. 

History – This is Los Angeles after all, and every street has a few stories to tell from Hollywood history. This is not to suggest that all vintage homes in Eagle Rock had Marlon Brando over for dinner, but he did live there. As did actress Lindsey Wagner, author John Steinbeck, comedian Maria Bamford and musician Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine). Their friends were celebrities, they had dinner parties, they drove around, and some of them drove into trees, fences, and mailboxes leaving marks. This is the stuff of legends.

The bottom line is this: A buyer of any age of vintage homes likes to imagine what happened historically that made their place what it is today. A house is more of a home when that home has a history.

Having represented both buyers and sellers of vintage homes throughout Northeast Los Angeles for more than 25 years, Tracy King understands the intricacies of vintage homes and the importance of these details in real estate transactions. She can be contacted at 323-243-1234.

tracy 150x175With over 30 years experience in helping clients buy and sell homes in Northeast Los Angeles, Tracy King has a depth of real estate knowledge that makes her the go-to for both the first-time home buyer and the seasoned real estate investor. When she's not holding open houses or negotiating offers, Tracy enjoys wine tasting, cooking, or planning her next trip to Paris. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Northeast Los Angeles, contact the Tracy King Team at 626.827.9795 or