So here’s a special kind of torture: Research Los Angeles real estate blogs from a dreary office in chilly, rainy New York.
All these blogs feature the things that make Los Angeles so special: sunny skies; beautiful, happy people; palm trees swaying in soft, ocean breezes. In New York we have cloudy skies; surly people; still-yet-to-bloom saplings nearly bent to the ground by hurricane-force winds off the Hudson.
So I enjoyed losing myself for awhile in these blogs.
As readers of this feature know, I’m doing a virtual transverse of our nation’s largest cities to find real estate blogs that are helpful for people looking to move to a particular community. I’ve looked at Minneapolis and Chicago  thus far.
For people who are moving, these blogs are a great way to learn about neighborhoods, learn about real estate in those neighborhoods, and maybe even find a real estate agent who knows their assessments from their elbow (and is a likeable person, to boot).
I try to avoid blogs that are just a series of listings, and posts shouting ‘Now’s a great time to buy a home!’ (I assume that if people are on the blog, they’re ready to buy — and if they’re not, the plaintive cries of a real estate agent won’t convince them to do so).
So that said, here’s the best of the best that I found in the LA area.
San Fernando Valley Real Estate Blog
Judy Graff’s San Fernando Valley Real Estate Blog  is really good. A nice mix of humorous pieces about real estate life, tidbits about the communities she serves, and analysis of the current housing market.
She even gets a bit snarky. This post rips overpriced homes near freeway off-ramps , and this one recounts a nightmare home showing  (hint: naked guy!).
Judy’s blog gives me a very good idea of what kind of agent she is: open, honest, knowledgeable and funny. Not a bad combination for someone who’s trying to find me a home — and look out for my interests when buying it.
Pasadena Views  from Irina Netchaev provides a good snapshot of the Pasadena area, with a nice mix of information about the area and its amenities — it even has restaurant reviews. This post on walking areas in Pasadena  is a good example of a real estate agent who’s plugged into the community.
There are also market reports on Pasadena housing, and information about mortgages, including this humorous post comparing some mortgage brokers with the stingy “Soup Nazi”  of Seinfeld fame. Anybody who likes Seinfeld is an agent I could work with…
Beach City Real Estate Info
OK, deep breath before pronouncing the next blog: Beach City Real Estate Info . Rolls off the tongue, eh?
Good blog, though. It focuses on Manhattan Beach and Redondo Breach, and the pictures on the homepage make me pine for sun and palm trees, preferrably together and even more preferrably with a fruity drink adorned with a little umbrella.
But back to the real estate. This blog has a thorough listing of homes for sale in the area and other market data for the would-be buyer. There are also posts that are helpful to first-time buyers. This analysis is helpful for people looking to buy in the area .
Malibu Real Estate Blog
Malibu Real Estate Blog  from Michael Gardner has a homepage that makes me even more depressed to look out my window at a dark, soul-less monolith (aka, the Goldman Sachs building).
To drive myself further into depression, I tralloped over to a post about what to look for in a Malibu beach home . It’s a nice source of information about beach property in Malibu, and I’m figuring if anyone wants to live in Malibu they should aim for the beach and not with the Malibu low-lifes who reside inland.
This is an interesting article about how beach depth can affect the value of the property . In my case, it’s the difference between “There’s no way you can afford this,” and “There’s no way in hell you can afford this.”
Still, this is a nice site if you’re interested in moving to Malibu, or just interested in dreaming about moving there.
Um, the latter for me.
Red Square Homes Blog
The RedSquare Homes Blog  focuses on Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo beaches (random new theory: life can’t suck if your town has the word “beach” in it).
Red Square has an array of listings and occasional posts on homebuying tips, including this one on what to look for when checking out agents’ Websites .
Phyllis’ LA Real Estate Blog
Phyllis’ LA Real Estate Blog  is an eclectic mix of just about everything and everywhere in Los Angeles: market reports, tidbits about the community she serves, humorous observations about life in general , and tips for both home buyers  and sellers.
Long Beach Real Estate
Laurie Manny’s Long Beach Real Estate  offers market reports on the Long Beach real estate mark, along with things to do in Long Beach, tips for home sellers and homebuyers, and other notes about Long Beach communities.
I thought this post offered a pretty exhaustive overview of things to do and see in Long Beach  — it’s geared for Valentine’s Day, but I think it’s useful year-round, for both residents and nonresidents alike.
Up2Date Real Estate
Deena and Doug Willis’ Up2DateRealestate  is focused on Pasdena and is heavy on market report,s which it covers exhaustively, and features an active community of people who comment on posts. This is a particularly good (and smart) post on homes for under $400,000  and the kinds of repairs and costs you might face.
Palos Verdes Lifestyle
Norma Toering’s Palos Verdes Lifestyle  is a good source of information about Palos Verdes, and also a source of tips for homebuyers and market stats about the area.
Terra Firma  from Christopher Hain is a great place to find the market data about communitites you’re considering. (BTW, I just learned this: Terra Firma translated is “Firm Terra.”) It’s written well and has an insidery feel that helps you trust that the author knows of what he speaks.
The analysis of trends is also top-rate — check out this post on foreclosures .
Other stuff to amaze and excite you in the Relocation.com Blog:
The Best Real Estate Blogs in Minneapolis/St. Paul