Design is King to Selling Homes – TBG Update 7/24

It’s cool to hike up the dirt trail that hugs the most northern gate into Wattles Garden. The trail is straight up a mountain that’s higher than both Runyon Trails. The trail was completely empty when I went right before sunset and the views from that trail are insane. At the top, it joins the west Runyon Trail and you have choices of how to get down. If you go straight up and down, it’s 30 minutes each way.

Ballona Creek Bike Path is so awesome too. It’s windy so cool even on a hot day. I love the strong salt water smells and the birds with very sticky skinny red legs. It’s not very crowded either (at least when I went around 6 pm Sunday evening.) It’s relaxing because it’s relatively flat and it’s just bikers and joggers (and birds and boats and fishermen at points.) A guy happened to catch a fish right as I passed and that was neat. The UCLA rowing team is pretty cool too.

Thought of the week is that spot-on design is king when it comes to house sales. The proof is in 462 N Highland. The owner is a super hip cool creative and she designed her one story mid century modern house on the corner of Highland and Rosewood in a “wow” way. Listed for 2.1, she got multiple full price offers. Both buyers who wrote offers are from Paris. The owner loves Europe and has curated international/European sophisticated taste. It’s cool to see talented people do neat things and succeed.

Sellers, especially those with really big houses, so often like to talk about “price per square foot.” There will be many sellers on HIghland who will multiply the square feet of their house by the price per square foot of 462 N Highland and believe the number they calculate is the value of their home. It doesn’t work that way. The purchase price of a house is not based on square footage alone. The price factors in so many variables/features and condition + aesthetic + cool design is a very big part of the value of a house.

It’s also why it’s misleading to believe Redfin or Zillow or any other computer based valuation, especially when a house sits on a busy street (where computer generated valuations tend to be more wrong.) The value of a house is what a buyer will pay for it on the open market and that value is a combination of all the features of the house – architecture, floor plan, location, condition, design, outdoor space, extra amenities and features. Design is hugely important.

Plummer Park and West Hollywood Park are closed because people didn’t wear masks. It was interesting to observe the goings-on at Plummer Park this week. A karate teacher teaches the cutest little girl karate and her mom sits on a blanket and snaps pictures and takes videos and stretches her little girl’s muscles between sets. Two volunteers go around waking up homeless people and handing them a beautifully wrapped breakfast box in the early morning. Buff people do so many pull ups on the bars next to the tennis courts. A guy in uniform in a Gas Co truck sat in his parked truck under a big tree from 8 am to 9 am Wednesday morning; I got a text at 3 pm that the guy still hadn’t moved from his seat in the parked truck under the tree. A West Hollywood park ranger was writing a citation to a couple sitting on a blanket on the grass because their little kids over age 2 weren’t wearing masks riding their tricycles on park property. Close by, the lines outside Trader Joe’s rival the lines outside the DMV; all those people were standing in masks except one lone guy who didn’t have a mask on at all.

I’m looking forward to the day when there’s a vaccine and/or a cure for the virus so people can go back to living – without masks and closures and restrictions and citations and fear and lines to buy eggs and milk. In the meantime, there are open spaces to enjoy and it’s fun to climb to the top of mountains and to bike to the sea!

Have an awesome weekend!

Xoxoxo,
Sheri Bienstock