print’s Best Real Estate Blogs in Los Angeles

The Picturesque California Sunset

The Picturesque California Sunset

By Serena Norr

As the second largest city in the United States, and the largest city in California, Los Angeles is renowned as a hub for glamour and entertainment, amazing weather, fine dining, attractions and breathtaking beaches.

This “City of Angels” is also home to some of the most immaculate real estate properties in the world with seaside residences, homes situated in the mountains, über modern architectural wonders and green design concepts. Although these housing options are plentiful, the area was hit pretty hard by the declining housing market, causing market price to plummet and foreclosures throughout the city. However, this area is now starting to see signs of growth with the rebound of home sales. Forbes magazine even named Los Angeles one of the top 10 metro areas in the U.S that is easing from the recession. Good prospects are up ahead and is very excited to cover these Los Angeles bloggers who are on the pulse of what’s happening in this (once again) burgeoning real estate market.

As part of the popular Curbed network, the Curbed LA edition covers anything and everything real estate throughout all of the neighborhoods in the City of Lights. This up to the minute blog is certainly on the beat of what is going on in the market through their informative, but fun articles. The site also features breaking real estate news and deals, developments in architecture, home improvement and design concepts and real estates listings, accompanied by gorgeous pictures.You can also find restaurant reviews and everything about LA fashion on its sister sites-Eater LA and Racked LA for the complete LA experience.

Covering the Westside of Los Angeles and Downtown, the Los Angeles Real Estate Blog features the point of view of real estate broker-Keller Williams and his first hand insight of this residential real estate market. Since the blog covers Downtown, most of the listings feature apartments, condos and coops, along with location information (restaurants, area amenities, etc) room features, floor plans, pictures and even YouTube videos that give users an interactive tour. The site also provides informational articles such as green living, analysis of home growth in certain areas and parking in LA with a dead meter.

Crafted by the Valerie Fitzgerald Group, Los Angeles Real Estate Talk covers the market in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, Malibu, Santa Monica and the Westside of Los Angeles. This luxury real estate blog showcases the latest buying and selling trends and listings, as well an a great resource for informational articles about home inspections, construction sites, loans, mortgage rules and tax credits. Buyers and sellers should be sure to check out the blogs resource page, where they can check out a payment calculator, moving checklist, budget calculator, closing costs, and understanding investment, among many other informational (and free!) resources.

The Malibu Real Estate Blog gives users the “low down” on high end real estate from techy/real estate agent, Michael Gardner. Auctions, listings and pictures, sales and real estate developments throughout Malibu are all covered on the site through Gardner’s straightforward tone. He even lists his cell phone number, so that users can call or text him directly with their listing information or any questions.

A Manhattan Beach real estate blog, the Manhattan Beach Confidential lists properties on the market and compares current asking prices to its previous sales, which gives buyers a comprehensive analysis on property values and real estate trends. The reviews also include open house times, location information and a straightforward review of a homes appearance. Recent posting such as: “First, there’s that exterior, with its hard-on-the-eyes adornments. It just doesn’t work” are just some of the brutally honest remarks regularly found on MBC.

Blogger/real estate broker, Irina Netchaev breaks down the real estate market in Pasadena through her site, Pasadena Views. This informational resource covers architecture, home sales, real estate market reports, as well as information about loans and mortgages. Home owners can also list their homes here, or buyers can search through the up-to-date free listing section. The site also features foreclosures, market statistics and profiles on Pasadena’s neighborhoods such as average home price and amount of time a place is listed on the market. The site also has a personal touch with Irina’s real-life stories of the buying/selling market, advice and insider secrets.

Covering Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Los Angeles, Malibu, the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and Westwood, the Los Angeles Real Estate Voice provides a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of real estate listing and housing news. The blog also features these areas through their own profile pages, as well as through lifestyle articles covering local restaurants, where the best schools are and an interactive video section where experts give their opinions on real estate in these markets.

Looks like brighter days are coming for Los Angeles, as the market is showing signs of some real change. Check out some of these blogs to stay up-to-date on current trends, real estate listings and industry news as they happen—we know we will!


A New Life by Relocating – Make It Happen, Part 2

This is a question and answer with Barb Brady, a life transition specialist. Click here to see Part 1.
Q: When people relocate, what is the biggest factor they overlook or misjudge in what will make them happy at their new place?

A: Not looking at the move holistically and how it will affect all areas of life, including friendships, finances, community, etc. Be clear about your most important criteria (the non-negotiables) and have a plan to make sure these are met. If someone moves for a new job, they may overlook the importance of their current connections are – e.g. family and friends – especially if they find it challenging making friends in their new place.

I’ve seen folks move to Asheville, NC because they love the city and mountains, then they can’t find work and end up suffering financially.

Years ago, when living in Massachusetts, I almost transferred with my then employer to San Diego, thinking climate was my most important criteria (as it was 10 years earlier). On a pre-move trip I realized that community was now most important to me, and this job would have been very isolating. I didn’t move.

Q: What’s the best way to explain to your family and friends that you’re leaving the area?
The key is, don’t tell your family and friends you are leaving until you feel at peace with and confident about your decision. Until then, talk out your thoughts only with supportive people who are not attached to whatever choice you make, but truly care about your well-being and will encourage you to listen to your inner voice.

Once you’re at peace with the decision to move, tell your family and friends. Focus on the positive aspects of the new place and your feeling “that it’s right.”

No one can argue with a gut feeling. Friends and family may take your leaving as a personal rejection. Avoid saying anything that’s personally negative about your current location, such as “I don’t like the people here.”

Talk in terms of preferences. “I really feel more energized in a warmer (sunnier, drier, etc) climate.”  Let them know how important they are to you. Make a plan for visits and staying in contact – will you call each week? Daily? Use Skype or email? How often will you visit each other?

If you are not sure about the longevity of this move, let them know that too. “I’m treating this as a one year experiment, and if I like it, I’ll stay longer.”

Q: Fewer people are moving nowadays. Why do you think that is, and what does it mean for the future?

A: Uncertainty about the economy, job losses, foreclosures and difficulty selling homes have all contributed to more people staying put. There have been news reports recently that migrations to the Sunbelt and more remote suburban areas are slowing, while the exodus from major cities is slowing as well.

Factors contributing to this include more economic opportunities and shorter commutes in major urban areas. I think this will remain the same in the near future. In the distant future, I think more people will be re-assessing their values and priorities, weighing lifestyle and relationship factors more heavily in their decision on where to live than job opportunities that may not be here tomorrow.

“New urban centers” may emerge  – smaller cities created on the village concept where people live, work, shop and gather in community. There are many such places in Europe and elsewhere – harder to find outside major cities in the U.S. due to the advent of the automobile, investment in highways verses railroads and the proliferation of sprawling suburbs.

Related Articles:

Would a Relocation Do You Good?

Sad About Moving? Here’s Why Your Move’s a GOOD Thing

How to Choose a New Hometown


A New Life by Relocating – Make It Happen

Even though fewer people are actually moving these days, studies show that people WANT to move because they just don’t like where they live.

There’s just this teensy weensy thing that gets in the way: a job.

However, taking that leap of faith can be a rewarding, fruitful risk.

girl_box2I recently spoke about this subject with Barb Brady, a life transition coach who helps people figure out where they should live. She’s the author of Make the Right Move Now: Your Personal Relocation Guide

Q: Relocating without a job is a scary thing, particularly in today’s economy. Can moving just for the sake of moving and living somewhere new be a good thing?

Yes, and no. It really comes down to your reasons for moving. For example, if you’re feeling ready for a change in location, and there’s a particular place that’s drawing you, and you think it’s feasible to make a living, then why not?

Make sure you have enough money to sustain you for at least 3 months while finding work. Imagine the best and worst case scenarios with your move. Have a back-up plan for the worst case. You may want to rent out your current home initially instead of selling.

But if you are unhappy in your life and location is just a part of that, first address and deal with the other source(s) of your unhappiness. It could be that your location is fine, but your living situation, job, and/or relationship (with another or yourself) is not.

Get clear on what the real issues are, fix those, then make sure you’re going toward something you want, not just running away from something you hate.

Q: How can one separate a genuine desire for a new life and challenges, vs. just a ‘grass is greener’ mentality?

In addition to my response to Q1, two more exercises can help:

1: Get clear on the gaps between what you ideally want in your life and what you’re currently living. Set aside an hour when you’ll be undisturbed. Put on some music. Write a description of your ideal day and week, from the time you rise until you go to sleep at night.

Be specific – what are you seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting throughout your day? Whether you’re working or not, what does that look like? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How are you interacting? etc.

This vision needs to excite you!

Now compare your current life with your vision. What part of this vision are you already living? What needs to be tweaked or changed? Can this be done where you live now? If so, how? If not, what would your new location need to be like?

2. Do a gut check. Imagine it’s tomorrow and you’ve just moved to your new location. How does that feel? What’s your body telling you? Is it tired or energized? Imagine how it feels in 3 months, 1 year, 3 years. Now do the same for your current location.

Which “feels” better?

Q: Let’s say you decide a move would be good for you on many levels, but you don’t know where — what are the 3 biggest factors in helping you make that decision?

A. Ethical and legal considerations – Is there anyone to whom you are ethically or legally committed? It could be a spouse, children, elderly parents or someone else. What criteria is needed to meet to fulfill your commitment to them, and give you peace of mind? For example, if you have elderly parents, it may mean staying on the same coast.

B. Your top 3-4 non-negotiables – (In my book there’s an exercise to help you get clear on what you want in 12 key life areas. For example “strong open-minded community”, “sunny, warm climate”, etc.) Research places that may meet these criteria. Get a map, and highlight potential areas. Tell people what you’re looking for and get input. Surf the internet and peruse books. Visit prospective places.

C. Gut check – The most important! When it’s the right place for you right now, you will experience any or all of the following: relief, lightness, expansiveness, more energy, peace, smiling, excitement.

Click here to see Part 2.