Results for ‘Development’ 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

Another idea for real estate entrepreneurs

At the ULI discussion last night, I was asked about opportunities I see for young entrepreneurs wanting to get into real estate. I gave a fairly macro answer about the middle class returning to big cities and how that is going to continue to drive increases in rents and property values in urban centers. But

Why I don’t talk about cap rates

About 10 times a week, people ask me what kind of cap rates I expect from our deals. In my answers, I strongly resist using the term cap rate, to the point that people think I’m a little strange. This is kind of weird, right? Any book you read about investment property is going to

Adding value to apartment buildings: Sometimes more art than science

One of the problems we wrestle with is how much to spend on improvements to a building where the impact on rents in unquantifiable. With most improvements, we have internal numbers we use to predict how much additional rent we’ll get. These internal numbers derive, in part, from so-called “natural experiments” we have conducted in the

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

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