It’s time to get Real *Estate*

As I reflect on my evening as an Atwater Villager poser, I am getting more and more serious about selling and getting the hell out of Highland Park. As I was perusing the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council table last night, I asked for one of the I heart Atwater Village bumper stickers, I was asked if I lived there and I responded, no, but I’d love to. One of the guys said why not? I said we bought in 2006 *the height of the housing bubble* and couldn’t afford to buy in Atwater at the time. He gave me his card and said I’ll sell your house and help you find a house here *little does he know my house is pretty much unsellable and I have already found my Atwater dream house*. So as I am putting my new I love AV sticker on my fridge this morning as motivation…

*notice the lovely note from my dearest?

I am thinking to myself, Liz, why can’t you sell your house and move into your dream house and live happily ever after? Well, I can give you several reasons why not but let’s be optimistic about this and look at how this can happen *preferably before Liv starts kindergarden!!*

Selling our House

The economy/housing market is making selling this house at a profit impossible *I hate using that word*. I am constantly checking the estimates on Zillow and my neighborhood has dropped in value to ridiculous lows. Comparable houses are selling in the low $300k and my *GROSS* neighbors across the street aren’t helping. On the plus side, we are the only house on the block with a garage and completely gated property. We also have one of the largest lots, complete privacy in our backyard and wonderful views. That’s all the pros I can come up with about our little abode

having said that, our house is in need of the following major repairs:

Foundation damage. This is a huge issue, *the main reason we don’t think we’ll be able to sell in this market* not going to spend the 30k to repair it and just sell as-is which will hurt our listing price.

Plumbing repairs desperately needed. I have vented more than once about the poor state of our plumbing. Our house was built in 1923 and I am sure that’s the last time the plumbing has worked properly. This is one hit we will have to take. I am going to have to get an estimate *if I have to shake it out of him* from our plumber, Malcolm to replace the galvanized pipes to copper in the bathroom and kitchen. *estimated cost $4500 – $6000*

Cracks in the walls and ceilings. Due to the foundation problem, our living room and bedroom walls have cracks that even after we patched and painted 4 years ago, need addressing. This I think, we can do ourselves but if we paint the living room *I get bummed just thinking about all that painting* we have to remove the popcorn ceiling *which we assume is covering more cracks*. *estimated cost $300*

Our HVAC system isn’t working very well. Actually we paid $440 back in April to be told we need to replace it, WELL DUH! The system is old, the electrical on it is shoddy and it doesn’t work very efficiently *we use it on special occasions because it increases our water & power bill by $50* I don’t necessarily want to buy a new system but at least get the vents cleaned and fix the blockage in our bedroom. *estimated cost $700 and up*

Cosmetic repairs that we need to get done

*Just enough to look good to a realtor but not pimping it out

Cracked glass our bedroom window, thanks to our gardener, the kitchen, the front door, not devastating but will help with the overall maintenance of the house. *estimated cost no idea??*

Our lawn/front and backyard needs a makeover. We moved our patio furniture downstairs and now our upper patio is bare and needs seating. We also need to re-seed our lawn, water regularly and plant some flowers in the front yard for spring. *estimated cost $600 and up*

Remodel our kitchen. This is more than major but it has to be done simultaneously with plumbing repairs *since we want to replace the back splash tile*. We need to paint the cabinets/walls, refinish the floors, and install a new light fixture *estimated cost $4000* here’s my ideal kitchen makeover

Remodel our tiny bathroom. The first thing we must do is replaster the horrendous dusty rose tub and shower wall. Next is retile the floor, paint and replace the sink basin and toilet. *estimated cost $1700*

New curtains in the bedroom. This is not a big deal but it can really make the bedroom shine. I’m putting off getting new curtains because my sweetheart cat, Lola thinks it’s awesome to claw her nails on our current curtains *boo*

My plan is to start tackling these small projects and do a major remodel/repair in April *yay for tax refunds* and since spring time is the best time for our yard, have our agent Debora Bright-Laney come by to give us a professional evaluation. She was our agent and helped us write 13 offers before we got this house. I wouldn’t want to use any other agent but I have no idea what her commission costs are *she works for one of the biggest real estate companies in LA* The biggest obstacle in getting into our dream house is the down payment *also need to secure a loan with our current interest* which would take us decades to save. I am counting on helping my Mom selling her income property in LA so she can gift us the 20% down payment. That in itself sounds impossible but hey, good things happen to good people right? I really want to raise Liv in a nice neighborhood that promotes community, has like-minded rad people like us *my neighbors here belong in a fuckin’ zoo!* and is SAFE! I am not looking at mansions in Beverly Hills, the house I want to buy is a total fixer-upper *with great bones/potential* and the location is perfect for us, close to Antz job, walkable neighborhood, and close to our favorite places to hang out.

Tell me what you think

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