Sunday, February 04, 2007

What Does a 5 Million Dollar Home Look Like in Los Angeles?

Some sundays in Los Angeles, my wife, my son and I take a look at homes for sale near UCLA. We like to see how other people live and find out what is the purchasing power of a $1 in Los Angeles. Today, we were in a nice part of Brentwood. No, I didn't OJ or any other celebrities but we got a full tour of a $5 million dollar house. Shockingly, on Super Bowl Sunday nobody else wanted to see it so the real estate broker was very happy to talk to us.

Here is what I saw. The home had a nice walled front yard. There were numerous lemon and orange trees growing and yielding fruit in the middle of February. For a guy born and educated in Chicago, that's a weird site!

Next to the front door was a cute swimming pool. My son lay down a piece of outdoor furniture next to the pool and looked quite happy. I asked him if his credit card company would allow him to charge the property. The house itself was a dump. It looked a depreciating Bread & Breakfast inn that I've seen all over New England. The entire property couldn't have been more than 1/3rd of an acre. The backyard lacked privacy and you could get a good sense of what the neighbors were doing. The house may have had 4 bedrooms but the upstairs was scary with the old feel of a Salem Witch house. I ran out.

While the fruit trees and the pool were nice, it strikes me that this house is a tad expensive.

What could $5 million buy in Clayton MO near Washington University?

What could $5 million buy in Upper Marion PA near Penn?

Even in my old town of Boston, $5 million could buy you something quite impressive.

But, in LA --- $5 doesn't see to add up to much. My son and I agreed that we'd pitch a tent and live outside if we had to live there.