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Home Search: Young family looks for up-and-coming location in El Sereno

May 6, 2014
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Natalie on the home hunt in El Sereno | Marni Epstein

By Marni Epstein

EL SERENO — On a blistering Sunday in El Sereno, Natalie toured a recently renovated 1939  home on Navarro Street with her son and a friend. The three-bedroom, two-bath house was one of two properties for sale on the block – the other was an empty shell of a home stripped of its siding that sat across the way. Natalie is a young mother on the search for a home to share with her boyfriend and her son. She has unfortunately had to do a lot of the home searching on her own  as her boyfriend is out of town on work for the next few months.  Natalie compensates by giving him a tour of the home via FaceTime.

The young family is looking to make a change and move from La Puente, closer in towards the action of L.A. Natalie’s boyfriend is of the mind that El Sereno is ripe for development after having watched the transformations of Silver Lake and Echo Park over the last few years. Natalie isn’t necessarily as convinced, but does like the potential she sees in the $489,000 home. With its recent rehab and its nearby proximity to two schools, the home has certainly attracted young couples at its open house.

Why are you looking to buy a home right now?
[My boyfriend] is just ready to get a house. He’s been looking, its that time for him to start his own life with his own family.

What drew you to the El Sereno?
It’s all him! I want to go more towards the Whittier area but he loves it over here. He loves change.

How Many houses have you looked at so far?
Oh man…at least 15 or 20, I would say.

Have you had any home search horror stories?
No, we haven’t. We do a lot of drive-bys and a lot of research before. We haven’t put a bid in on any house, we haven’t ever called a realtor to let us in. There was one we were going to put an offer in and then [my boyfriend's] cousin, who does construction, came to look at it and he said, “No!” this house is a tear-down. So that shocked us because we thought it was really nice. But for the most part everything we’ve seen is pretty much what we’ve expected.

What did you like most about this home?
I like the space inside. We’re small, it’s just going to be the three of us. But if I need to escape from one of them for a little bit I want to know that if I go to the other side of the house, I have my personal time. A lot of houses here are really small, or they’re very close to the neighbors. That’s another thing I like, the house in the middle [of the lot]. I don’t feel like I can reach over the fence here and touch the house next to me.

Marni Epstein Epstein is an entertainment, music, and lifestyle Journalist and resident of Echo Park. She has previously worked in the film and digital media industries with FOX and Sony Pictures Entertainment. She is currently also pursuing a Masters in Historic Preservation.

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