Actress Kate Walsh Lists Los Feliz Home at a Loss
The recent listing of "Private Practice" television star Kate Walsh's Los Feliz home at $4.295 million illustrates the decline in prices. She bought the property in 2007 for $4.75 million, and is listing it at a $455K loss. But some websites are estimating that it will sell for only $3.5 million (a $1.2M loss), since similar properties in this neighborhood bordering Hollywood sold for that median price.
So what is the state of Los Feliz real estate? Is Walsh's loss now the norm?
Here's what you can expect if you are looking to buy in this historic and popular area of Los Angeles.
Lynne Beavers has been a real estate agent in Los Feliz for more than 30 years and she says the price dip in Los Feliz is not unique: "It's typical all over town. It's not a secret, it's not one area, it's all over the place."
Richard Stanley of Coldwell Banker agrees with Beavers that the median price has gone down by roughly a third in Los Feliz.
This can be good news if you're shopping, but needing a loan to buy can be the problem. Stanley observes that "Los Feliz doesn't have a lot of foreclosures and short sales, but the loans are hard to get above $729,000 right now." That's also been Beavers' experience. "The prices have gone way down, but the problem is that banks aren't giving loans," she says.
Ah, the banks.
The difficulty in getting loans is also not unique to Los Feliz, however with many area homes holding hefty pricetags, buying here becomes more difficult for those needing bigger loans in order to buy.
Taking out a mortgage is not unique to the area, but Stanley says that not all buyers in Los Angeles need them. Because of the entertainment industry and a recent influx of foreign buyers there's a lot of money floating around L.A.
"I had a sale of a $2.3 million house in September 2008 and the seller had to put down 40 percent. The ultra-luxury movement is over $2 million, and people will pay cash. There is money out there."
So while there are properties available in Los Feliz -- and at reduced prices -- the hurdle for most prospective home-buyers will be getting a loan from the banks.
But there are signs of hope in Los Feliz -- and profits to be made. The Los Angeles Times reported that TV-commercial director and filmmaker Joe Pytka recently sold a Los Feliz home for $2.335 million. He purchased the historic, 1922 Lloyd Wright home as a restoration project in 2002 for $1.195 million.
Time will tell if Kate Walsh's home sells for its list price or the more typical one-third loss. But one thing is for sure, celeb or not, the worth of houses in L.A.'s Los Feliz has dropped.
See homes for sale in Los Angeles' Los Feliz neighborhood at AOL Real Estate.