How I Bought a $19 Million House (in a sense)

The Joys of Home Ownership

"The Joys of Home Ownership"

Fans of Westside Shadow Buyer, and they are legion, have followed the saga of the Shadowbuyer family since 2009.  As I wrote from the get-go, I am real, but I’m not a realtor.  And, real people have to deal with the realities of life.  Fortunately, my reality is pretty great.

After exhibiting extreme patience (and comparative, but not extreme frugality) for nearly 10 years, my reality in the last couple of years has pointed to, “it’s time to buy a home in Los Angeles.”   I managed to miss the last couple of  years of economic badness that has hurt so many recent home buyers, and to keep dry and ready a nice chunk of money.

So, when it came time to buy  something, I figured I’d be good to go.

Ah, so naive.

When the front page blares that credit is flowing again, and that Wells Fargo is actively lending to any home buyer with excellent credit and 25% equity, you’d think you could get a deal done pretty readily.

In fact, the banks tortured me to no end, but eventually I prevailed.  After coming up with 40% in cash, a national lender consented to float me the other 60%, and we closed on a home in Cheviot Hills.

But this wasn’t just any old house.  If you look back to my initial post on Shadowbuyer, you’ll see that my requirements were reasonable – 2.5 bathrooms, none of them of the laundry room or broom closet variety.  Off-street parking for 2 vehicles with direct or at least secure access to the house.  A reasonably small number of steps up to the house, and inside the house.  Some usable backyard space for my kids.  No cliffs or ledges to fall off of.  Some nice walkability to the neighborhood.

But what we found, at the last possible moment that we could buy a house before it was too late and our new baby arrived, was totally unexpected.  It was a 100% unspoiled, single-owner, mid-century modern time capsule.  The builder and his architect brother built it in the early ’60s with every custom flourish you could imagine, and these guys were absolute architectural and engineering geniuses, with timeless taste in surface, materials, and fixtures.

As mid-century homes go, and I’m not just saying this, the only example I’ve seen that’s better than ours was a $19 million (asking price) house on Baroda in Bel Air/Holmby Hills that eventually sold for $15.5 million).

It’s six months later, we are in, and we are LOVING our house.  Thanks for your comments and support along the way.  Now that I’ve got my house, if anyone out there  would like for me to post their wants/needs, with hopes that some ready seller will see it and get in touch, please send me the details and I’ll be happy to help out if I am able.

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2 Responses to “How I Bought a $19 Million House (in a sense)”

  1. Looking Says:

    Love it! Congratulations. Was wondering what became of you all. We are looking north of Montana but want a waaaay larger than average lot with an original house (any size house/amount of work is fine with us, in fact we prefer untouched and uspoiled (read tear-down for most people)…) We are considering a few locations in Brentwood with sidewalks in walking proximity to a place to get a coffee, paper on Sunday morning, etc… We have an amazing and patient broker we love but you never know if anyone has a pocket listing or something… If you hear of anything, let me know! Thanks!

  2. tbgpalisades Says:

    Congratulations, Shadow Buyer – well done, enjoy!

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