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Gaurav Builds a House Episode 2: House Hunting in Los Angeles

Welcome back to "Gaurav Builds a House!" In this series, we'll take you on an exciting journey through a substantial multi-year project filled with unexpected challenges and surprising twists. In Episode 2 of "Gaurav Builds a House!" we dive into the challenges of buying a house in a volatile market.


From Loft to Home in Los Angeles


Let's rewind to 2014 when Bend Goods found itself dealing with space constraints in my Venice loft, prompting the need for a new workspace for the Bend team. Even in those days, the Los Angeles housing market was a fierce battleground as it slowly bounced back from the Great Recession of 2008. I recall friends warning me against buying a house, claiming I'd be buying at the market's peak. This underscores the challenge of timing when it comes to purchasing a house. The first step is evaluating your needs and budget to make sure you don't stretch yourself financially. In my case, I needed more space and carefully considered what I could afford within my mortgage payments.

 




Growing up in Michigan, where the housing market was notably less competitive, this marked my first home purchase in Los Angeles. I stumbled upon a listing online for a charming Spanish-style home. When I attended the open house, there were at least 20 other people exploring the property, and this was back in 2014. I recall my real estate agent having me write a heartfelt letter to the owner, expressing my love for the house and explaining that I'm a furniture designer, emphasizing how this space was perfect for me and how I would cherish and care for the house. After going through a few more hoops, I finally acquired a 1.5-bedroom, 1-bath house in the heart of Los Angeles, complete with a pool – almost a prerequisite for homes in LA.

The house exuded a charming modern Spanish-Mediterranean ambiance, but the floor plan left much to be desired. The living room was inconveniently situated at the front of the house, quite a distance from the pool. My vision was to create a Palm Springs-style oasis where the main living area seamlessly merged with the pool area. So, I embarked on this journey with the hope of continuing the modern Spanish-Mediterranean vibe.



How the Market is Today


It feels like everyone and their mother is attempting to predict the housing market's direction. The market seems to be at a standstill, with soaring mortgage rates. Homeowners are smitten with the low mortgage rates from the pandemic era, and making a move to a different house would entail paying more, which has contributed to the limited housing inventory.

 

It's crucial to note that the housing market's performance varies significantly by location. In Los Angeles, for instance, the housing market consistently experiences a steady rise in median sold prices, despite the restricted inventory. This Los Angeles trend is remarkable. However, with mortgage rates on the rise and inventory constraints persisting, if these elevated mortgage rates continue for an extended period, let's say 1-2 years, we might witness a more pronounced downturn in the housing market. The pursuit of appealing housing deals in Los Angeles might still be a year away, making it a captivating market to keep an eye on.



Takeaways

  • The housing market is currently uncertain and experiencing stagnation, with fluctuating mortgage rates and limited housing inventory
  • Location matters; some areas may have rising prices despite low inventory.
  • High mortgage rates might delay good deals for about a year.
  • Consider your needs and budget before buying a house.
  • Have a clear vision for your dream home.

 

Stay Tuned for Future Episodes… 

  • "100-Year-Old House Made New"

  • "Why Buy When You Can Make Sinks"

  • "Forming Shapes with Skylight Additions"

  • "Precise and Precision Kitchen Designs"

  • And Much More







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