Update for 2019
This post was written three years ago, and the words are truer today than they were back then. Urban LA homebuyers have discovered a new normal and it’s Glendale.
In the last three years the median home price in Los Feliz increased by 52% (!!!!) while the median price in Glendale rose 27%. I get that Los Feliz name has cache…. but I submit they are simply better at bragging than we are.
At the same time our market has become just a teensy bit less competitive. There is a little more inventory vs demand in Glendale which means there is less competition and bidding war craziness. Urban LA buyers can actually find a Glendale CA house they like and buy it as opposed to endless cycles of finding, bidding, losing and trying again.
There is a trend happening in Glendale and the Foothills. Urban LA buyers have figured out that we are the new cool. We have great schools, better city services, and a lot more convenience.
With that being said, here is the original post.
8 Things the Urban LA Homebuyer needs to know about Buying in Glendale
It is not all about kabobs…
While it is true that some of the best kabobs are found in Glendale (I mean, c’mon, Raffi’s Place, Phonicia or Skaff’s are amazing) we are a very diverse community! We are home to the Alex Theater, the historic Brand Art and Music Library, the Neon Museum and Descanso Gardens. You can eat Cuban pastries and food at Portos, or authentic Spanish cuisine at Casa Cordoba. The Americana is world class shopping and the hiking in our mountains is breathtaking.
Our housing market is competitive, but not insane
Urban LA homebuyer agents tell me war stories nearly everyday. $200k over list, no inspection contingencies, gift baskets left for the sellers and more. Things are not as crazy over here, but it is still very competitive. Buyers should still expect to pay over list for premium homes and locations and cash still talks loudly.
Relationships count for a lot in this area. Consider working with a Glendale Ca agent and company, like DIGGS. Local agents know a lot more about the million tiny details that add up to a winning offer and listing agents and sellers prefer a known entity to an unknown one.
More House for the $$$
When I was growing up in Northeast LA (NELA) we were considered the lower class barrio and Glendale was the gleaming Emerald City with the matching price differences.
Today, NELA is selling for $555/sf, on average (2019 UPDATE it is now $633/sf), while Glendale is selling for $471/sf (2019 UPDATE – it is now $541) This means it costs 15% LESS to get premium schools, a super responsive police department, lots of free parking and a quiet sky at night.
No wonder urban LA buyers are flocking to Glendale. (2019 UPDATE – it’s still about 15% less expensive in Glendale)
Outstanding City Services
There is no question that Glendale police are more responsive. They are faster, and respond to a wider range of calls than LA can even dream about. Same for our Fire Department. The urban LA homebuyer may not understand how these city services contribute to daily life!
Our streets are smoother and our parks are clean and safe. Los Angeles has some super star schools, but this forces school minded families to buy in small concentrated areas, driving prices in these tiny areas to stratospheric levels. Glendale schools are great and more consistent in quality, allowing families more choice to disperse throughout the city.
That being said, we have lots of diverse neighborhoods that have some really nice buying opportunities. The Canyons or zip code 91206 is one of the least like Urban Los Angeles. This is a great choice if you love mountains, trees and an occasional deer wandering across your lawn.
Another popular area for Urban LA homebuyers is Northwest Glendale or zip code 91201 and 91202. This is a large neighborhood and the most diverse. People love the wide tree-lined streets, the abundance of charming character homes, and the proximity to the entertainment industry.
Check out more Glendale/Foothill neighborhoods here, homes for sale, local pictures, and a little video about each area.
Temperature and Air Quality
For LA urban homebuyers coming from the Westside or the Beach areas…. we are not the hot, stagnant valley. We are located between the Verdugo and San Gabriel mountain chain. This gap squeezes the air in through this narrow gap giving us more consistent breezes and a lower temperature, especially in summer.
We are not One People
You might be tempted to view us as an ethnic enclave, but we are actually a very diverse community. Americans of no particular ethnicity mix it up with Chinese, Korean, Mexican and Cubans. Even our Armenians are very diverse- many are American born and others are Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian or from Armenia. Each one brings different customs, habits and aesthetics.
When everything is easy to get to and there is enough space in your own backyard to just chill…. life is just easier. As a contrast, my urban LA friends think nothing of driving 20 miles to an event or attraction. An hour in the car is a normal trip, so a car-centric lifestyle seems reasonable.
20 minutes is about our limit in the car. And we expect free parking nearby when we get there. So, we tend to stick to our neck of the woods, because really….. why leave? Everything we need is truly right here.