Find Real Estate Agents and Homes for Sale


Real Estate News --> Vermont News

Finding the L.A. real estate gold rush — in Compton, Watts and South L.A.


Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at the online real estate site Trulia, took a quick look at the numbers ... I met up with Ruiz one morning at a duplex on 57 th Street, near Vermont, listed at $449,000. He said he and his business partner, Armin Soliemini ...


Archived Story

LOCAL CALIFORNIA Column Finding the L.Areal estate gold rush — in Compton, Watts and South L.A. Real estate broker Julio Ruiz, who moved to Compton from San Fernando Valley and is now selling South Los Angeles real estate, shows homes in Watts and South Los Angeles to clients who are looking for a more affordable place to live. Real estate broker Julio Ruiz, who moved to Compton from San Fernando Valley and is now selling South Los Angeles real estate, shows homes in Watts and South Los Angeles to clients who are looking for a more affordable place to live. Steve LopezContact Reporter If you were to stand near the corner of 57th Street and South Vermont Avenue, you might not see many great selling points.But if you were to stand there with Julio Ruiz, you’d get a different take. And he’d tell you this:“There is cheap housing in L.A… The American dream is still affordable in Watts, Compton and all the forgotten ghettos.”Ruiz saw my column last week about frustrated Californians leaving the high-rent districts of coastal Los Angeles for cheaper housing in Las Vegas Allen JSchaben / Los Angeles Times Inside the home in South L.A., where home values in Watts and Compton indicate increased demand to live or invest, an economist says. Inside the home in South L.A., where home values in Watts and Compton indicate increased demand to live or invest, an economist says(Allen JSchaben / Los Angeles Times) “I have a wife and three kidsWe own a homeWe moved to Compton from the ValleyI didn’t have to go out of state.”Ruiz, I discovered, is always on the run and often on the phoneWith lendersWith City HallWith buyers and sellersHe sniffs out investment opportunities and cobbles together deals as he travels by Jeep through neighborhoods where others might fear the crime and gang activity long associated with the South Side, but Ruiz sees nothing but opportunity.“There’s a buzz all over here,” he saidHouses are getting multiple offers, sometimes all cash, and some are selling above asking prices.Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at the online real estate site Trulia, took a quick look at the numbers and said home values in Watts and Compton are at post-recession highs, indicating “increased demand to live or invest” in these areas.Ruiz said one of his clients is an Asian professor at UC Irvine who bought a three-unit property near USC with plans to live in one unit and rent out the other twoRuiz also represents a Koreatown couple interested in a $500,000 home in South L.Abecause the price would be double that amount where they now liveAnd he handled one sale in which a white gay couple bought a rehabbed Craftsman near Slauson and Western avenues for just under $500,000.“One of our neighbors … said she was so happy the gays were moving in because property values would be going up,” said Steven (last name withheld by request), who lives in the house with his partner.Steven said he’s lived in areas with majority-minority populations before, and that wasn’t a considerationWhen he and his partner bought the home, one worked in Hollywood and the other in El Segundo, and they both had relatively easy commutes by bike and transit.“We have a bunch of friends in Echo Park and Silver Lake, where our money would have gotten us one or two bedroomsBut in our place, we have four bedrooms and three bathrooms,” Steven said.They don’t have the same social, dining and shopping options, howeverAnd then there’s the nearby prostitution problemStill, it works for them, if not for everyone.A housing affordability crisis can change minds, though, and reverse trendsRuiz said his strategy is to stay “one step ahead of gentrification.” The Olympics are returning in 2028, and the city will want to keep the area around USC cleaned up while knocking down crime, he saidSo that’s a solid investment areaSo is anything near transit, existing or proposedThe new soccer facility near USC will bring up valuesThe Rams will lift Inglewood.“I don’t look at today’s market,” said Ruiz“I look five years out.” Allen JSchaben / Los Angeles Times Broker Julio Ruiz, right, who moved to Compton from San Fernando Valley, is now selling South Los Angeles real estate“There’s a buzz all over here,” he says. Broker Julio Ruiz, right, who moved to Compton from San Fernando Valley, is now selling South Los Angeles real estate“There’s a buzz all over here,” he says(Allen JSchaben / Los Angeles Times) FHA, VA or different types of loansAs these houses started getting rehabbed, I felt like South L.Awas getting cleaned up,” Ruiz said.Lots of longtime owners, black and brown, took nice chunks of equity out of those homes and retired somewhere else, he said, adding that he’s putting neighborhood craftsmen to work flipping the houses.But look at Boyle Heights, I told himLatinos are being forced out by rising rents.Boyle Heights vsBrooklyn Heights“Boyle Heights used to be Brooklyn Heights,” Ruiz said“It was JewishNeighborhoods are always changing.”And there will be more “browntrification,” he saidThat’s his term for Latinos moving to places like the area around the Jordan Downs housing projects.“There’s a $5-billion mixed-use development coming in there,” said RuizHe showed me a fixer-upper one of his investors bought less than half a block from the projects, anticipating neighborhood improvements and rising property values.I met up with Ruiz one morning at a duplex on 57th Street, near Vermont, listed at $449,000He said he and his business partner, Armin Soliemini, had made a cash offer on the house on behalf of some investors, but on the way to check out the property, he got a call tipping him off to another house on the block that was coming up for sale at $310,000.Just after we arrived on the block, a truck pulled up, hauling a trailer filled with power-washing equipmentI assumed the driver, Rigoberto Galvan, was there to do some maintenance.I was wrong.Galvan, who takes the profits from his cleaning and maintenance business and dumps them into real estate, stopped by during his work hours to see if he might want to buy something on 57th Street.He liked the $310,000 house, which Ruiz saw as a can’t-miss investmentFor about $100,000 to $120,000, Ruiz said, the house could be rehabbed, with a granny unit addedAnd based on comparables in the neighborhood, it would sell for close to $600,000.But it’s still South L.A., I saidCrime is real, schools are a problem.It’s risky, no?“No risk-it, no biscuit,” said Ruiz.Galvan told me he had been investing in car washes, but the profit margins were marginal.“Then I met Julio, and he started telling me about different properties,” said Galvan.Galvan, 38, said he dropped out of school after the ninth grade to work full-timeHe said he has bought and sold five properties in South Los Angeles this year aloneHis goal is to retire at age 50. When Galvan left 57th Street, another investor showed upIt was George Janian, the guy who bought, rehabbed and sold the Craftsman to the gay coupleHe inspected the duplex inside and out, and talked to the renter, who pays $1,300 a month for one of the duplex’s two unitsIf he buys the duplex, Janian said, he might sit on it for a while, collecting rent, and maybe sell later.Ruiz, meanwhile, had already redesigned the vacant unit in his head. CAPTION President Trump says he didn't ask James Comey to stop investigating Michael FlynnThe investigation into the 2016 election is shining new light on the president's son-in-lawPresident Trump reduced the size of two national monuments in southern Utah.  A Supreme Court ruling gave President Trump a significant victory MondayFour major fires erupted in Southern California. President Trump is expected to declare Jerusalem the capital of IsraelDemocrat Al Franken will resign his Senate seat amid allegations of sexual misdeeds President Trump says he didn't ask James Comey to stop investigating Michael FlynnThe investigation into the 2016 election is shining new light on the president's son-in-lawPresident Trump reduced the size of two national monuments in southern Utah.  A Supreme Court ruling gave President Trump a significant victory MondayFour major fires erupted in Southern California. President Trump is expected to declare Jerusalem the capital of IsraelDemocrat Al Franken will resign his Senate seat amid allegations of sexual misdeeds CAPTION President Trump says he didn't ask James Comey to stop investigating Michael FlynnThe investigation into the 2016 election is shining new light on the president's son-in-lawPresident Trump reduced the size of two national monuments in southern Utah.  A Supreme Court ruling gave President Trump a significant victory MondayFour major fires erupted in Southern California. President Trump is expected to declare Jerusalem the capital of IsraelDemocrat Al Franken will resign his Senate seat amid allegations of sexual misdeeds President Trump says he didn't ask James Comey to stop investigating Michael FlynnThe investigation into the 2016 election is shining new light on the president's son-in-lawPresident Trump reduced the size of two national monuments in southern Utah.  A Supreme Court ruling gave President Trump a significant victory MondayFour major fires erupted in Southern California. President Trump is expected to declare Jerusalem the capital of IsraelDemocrat Al Franken will resign his Senate seat amid allegations of sexual misdeeds CAPTION Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks on Sept17, 2017 at an event in Florence, Ala. Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks on Sept17, 2017 at an event in Florence, Ala. CAPTION Democrat Al Franken will resign his Senate seat amid allegations of sexual misdeeds. Why are wildfires erupting across Southern California? LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball have hired an agent and will try to play professional basketball abroad. About 300 L.ACounty sheriff's deputies are on the Brady list.  Democrat Al Franken will resign his Senate seat amid allegations of sexual misdeeds. Why are wildfires erupting across Southern California? LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball have hired an agent and will try to play professional basketball abroad. About 300 L.ACounty sheriff's deputies are on the Brady list.  CAPTION A wind-fanned fire growing at a “dangerous” rate in North County has charred 4,100 acres, destroyed dozens of structures and is threatening 5,000 more, fire officials said Thursday. A wind-fanned fire growing at a “dangerous” rate in North County has charred 4,100 acres, destroyed dozens of structures and is threatening 5,000 more, fire officials said Thursday. CAPTION A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires has destroyed hundreds of structures, forced thousands to flee and smothered the region with smoke in what officials predicted would be a pitched battle for days. A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires has destroyed hundreds of structures, forced thousands to flee and smothered the region with smoke in what officials predicted would be a pitched battle for days. Get more of Steve Lopez's work and follow him on Twitter @LATstevelopez At 230,000 acres, Thomas fire is now the fifth-largest wildfire in modern California history Wildfires scorch a hole through Southern California's mythology of paradise Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme apologizes for kicking photographer in the face at KROQ concert The pundits were wrong about Assad and the Islamic StateAs usual, they're not willing to admit it Track the key details on Southern California’s fires Thomas fire: Thousands of acres burn in Ventura County Five takeaways from the Lakers' 110-99 win over the Charlotte Hornets With Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton off the market, where will Dodgers turn? --> Privacy Policy

Trending Vermont News:


  • Adopting pets from outside Vermont
  • Dealer.com, MyWebGrocer are big fish in roomy Vt. pond
  • Socialist Bernie Sanders buys third home: $600,000 island summer getaway
  • Vermont Gas Station Goes Solar
  • Box to Bar: Peter Katz' Shipping Container Mission
  • GDP Up, Happiness Down
  • April revenues bailed out by record estate tax collections
  • Bennington commercial real estate market heating up
  • State files lien against former trooper Deeghan's house
  • Colleges ramp up career guidance for students
  • Housing shortage in Vermont
  • Vermont’s forestry industry in crisis
  • Murphy Sullivan Kronk Ranks in Top Tier for Real Estate Law Firms
  • You could live inside of a castle! See inside this 'otherworldly' home
  • Rugged Conditions Challenge Crews in Vt. Power Restoration
  • Independent Bernie Sanders wins Senate seat in Vermont.
  • Various reports weigh in on how much noise from proposed F35 jets would impact home values under the flight path
  • Underquoting: Consumer watchdog launches action against Melbourne agency
  • Looking for an Adorable Puppy? Check Out Chip!
  • Bunkered down