Results for ‘Buying’ category

Why we avoid pre-1920s buildings

I love buildings built in the 1920s, but I rarely buy buildings built before that. Why? It has to do with how the buildings were built. By the 1920s, Los Angeles construction practices were not that different from today’s. Layouts, door width, ceiling height, spacing between studs, size of lumber used – all are quite similar to

What happens when a sub-market gets hot

Here’s one of the irritating things that happen when a neighborhood gets hot: Amateurs jump in. Someone puts a good deal on the market. Amateurs, seeing the kind of rents we get but not how much it costs to get them, bid the price up. We lose the auction. The amateur wins the auction but fumbles the

All about earthquake shut-off valves in Los Angeles

Was at an inspection yesterday and got an interesting question from the listing broker, which I think deserves an answer here. The building in question, which was built in the late 1980s, had one earthquake shut-off valve installed on each bank of gas meters. For those who don’t know, an earthquake shut-off valve is a

Why it all comes back to judgement

One of the under-appreciated qualities that go into doing what we do is judgement. Almost every project brings with it unanticipated problems, from the trivial to the potentially severe. At this point, I think it’s fair to see that we’ve seen the majority of these problems before and know the solutions. But, even now, after

Why I’m no longer a seller

Back when we started, Jon and I needed to sell renovated buildings. The reason was pretty simple: We needed the dough. When you’re in the money management business, you generally don’t see much in the way of money yourself until you make your partners money. They don’t take it on faith; they want cold hard

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