The Affordable Housing Myth and Blaming the Condo Conversion Bogeyman

The Los Angeles City Council has been looking at the issue of condo conversions / tenant relocation costs and affordable housing.

Condo conversions provide entry-level property ownership opportunities. It is a shame these opportunities will be less available in the future.

Paying $9000 to relocate an individual and $19,000 to relocate a family is exorbitant. Tenants could turn "relocation" into a profession, moving into a building likely to be slated for conversion and getting paid handsomely to move.

The lack of affordable housing is a myth; I am baffled when affordable housing advocates and others talk like there is a serious problem. It is not my experience as a Realtor for the past 20 years. Sure, it is expensive to live in Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey or West Hollywood, but those with low or moderate income cannot expect to live in the most affluent areas.

I think the affordable housing myth has developed from an entitlement mentality. Some people seem to think they are entitled to live in million dollar plus neighborhoods regardless of their ability to pay the prices in those areas. I am offended by this perspective. First time buyers and low to moderate income renters should expect to compromise a little on area. Over time, the person will most likely be able to move to a more desirable location, and up and up and up. My clients do this all the time. They start out small. After a few years, most are living in prestigious neighborhoods.

My 20 year old daughter is looking for a place around $700 - $800 per month right now, and there are plenty of singles, one bedrooms and guest houses that fit this description. Utilities are often included.

I recently rented my Valley Glen 5 bedroom house for $1700 per month (about $300 per bedroom). I rent my 4 bedroom Sherman Oaks home for $2300 per month (about $600 per bedroom). There are many affordable homes in the Valley (and many with rentable guest houses) that sell in the $400,00 - $500,000 range.

Affordable housing advocates and entitlement-minded tenants often tell me, "Well, I don't like the Valley. I don't want to live in the Valley." This answer is not likely to win friends and influence people, especially those who have worked hard to get where they are today.

Those who have worked hard and sacrificed do not want to subsidize others to live in multi-million dollar Westside communities.

I say a short drive over the hill is in order. The Valley is an excellent place to live! It has less traffic, better parking and family-oriented communities (a benefit that high-rise sections of the Westside lack). I would not move to the Westside even if I could afford to do so..


Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:47 AM  
Anonymous condo in Philippines said...

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9:37 PM  

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