Thursday, January 23, 2014

Househunting, again

We are househunting, again. Actually, we've been househunting for months. Ever since a return to LA was a glimmer in TLOML's eye, we've both been quietly surfing real estate porn. I'll admit I am often distracted by the high end, 'if we won the lottery tonight', stuff in Malibu for real, droolworthy surfing. But for the most part I am trying to stay focused on somewhere to live once our temporary accommodation ends.

So we're both constantly plugged into Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads and Westside Rentals. Not to mention Craig's List, which we will always favour because it's how we found the place we had on the beach in Malibu. Sigh. Anyway, sketchy surf shacks are no longer going to work for us. Nor will rabbit hutches, nor will cockamamie flats.

We need a proper, tidy, sweet little family home. With a grassy yard, or at least a decent patio. Preferably a shortish walk to the beach.
I'd like to live here

Or here

But do we need somewhere with 'nice energy'? That particularly Californian turn of phrase crops up on quite a few property listings. Call me a sceptic but I'm okay with just average energy, to be honest. And how about 'fully executive ocean views'? Seriously, one place really did claim such a feature. And so far as I could from the listings, they didn't mean a view of the skyscrapers of Downtown LA. Weird, and definitely not something that made the list of 'essentials' for our next house.

You'd think we'd have learned, from our NY experience, about the perils of househunting from afar. (We viewed about a dozen flats only to rent one we'd never seen, which turned out to be unimaginably small). But we've wandered the streets of Manhattan and Hermosa Beach on Google Maps Streetview so many times now I feel I know the place like the back of my hand.

Of course, there are real limitations to looking online. One of those is psychological - I know it's daft but I just can't get excited about any property with a grey sky behind it. So those streets which were photographed after the hazy marine layer lifted, and have that classic Californian bright blue sky in the background, shoot to the top of my list.

This time next week we'll be looking at these places in person. Yikes! I might delay any face-to-face appointments to the afternoon, when the marine layer has lifted and the sun is shining.


  1. Wow! Good luck on the move guys. Were you able to find a place? Anyway, now that you guys have a child with you, I feel like you do need to find a proper home to raise your child in and not just a flat. I’m sure there are lots of that in LA. I would suggest for you to take everything that real estate websites say with a grain of salt, as they would surely be going for the exaggerated way just to make a sale. I hope you find the perfect house for you guys soon. All the best! :)
    Leonard George @ Remax Crest Realty Westside

  2. By the looks of it, it seems the neighborhood category is on top of your priorities. That’s a good way to begin your house hunting. There are people who don’t realize how choosing the perfect neighborhood is just as important, if not more, than the house itself. Well, one would have to keep in mind that a house could always be altered the way you want it, but the neighborhood you’re in is there to stay.

    Devin Newton @ Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

  3. Great , good luck! If you ever plan to search house in BC Canada I would definitely recommend check them out.