Usually, my investment timing is horrible. I have a long history of this. I bought a condo in January 2007. A year later I was under water by more than 50%. I even put a little money in the stock market this year, in May, right before the market began a “correction.”
In 2012, Sam and I bought a condo in the Cahuenga Pass. Prices were still struggling to rise after the crash. Things were just starting to heat up at that time, we had to go through six or so counter-offers, bringing the price up, before the seller agreed. However, these days there are NO counteroffers, there are just competing original offers from multiple buyers over asking. 3.5 years later, we’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity in this property as the market keeps rising, and our area is becoming popular. Universal is investing, the Ford is renovating, Hollywood Bowl is always popular, and Hollywood is expanding and putting up high rises.
However, since we have no plans to sell, none of that really means anything to us. What does mean something are the hidden perks in this purchase. After we bought we heard whispers every now and then of hiking paths up on the hill. Every time I tried to look for them I couldn’t really find anything. The HOA president sent me to our property manager as he knew where it was. The man pointed it out on the map for me, but I still couldn’t find it. Anything that once existed was completely overgrown. After about a year of this I got so frustrated I told them I’d dig the trail myself. The HOA president gave the go-ahead and the property manager gave me a gas powered brush cutter, shovels, axes, whatever I might need. The facilities manager and I hiked through the brush up the hill to find where a trail might best go.
For two days after that I cut through the brush and tried to dig out steps leading up the hill. I marked a possible trail and then gave up until the following weekend. To my surprise, the facilities management team took over and built the rest of the trial at lightning speed. Three weeks later they’d created a walkable trail with stones on either side that went up the hill and around the upper edge of the property line. Another week and they dug a trail going all the way up to the ridge. The ridge already has an old ridgeline trail that goes down to the Hollywood Reservoir on the north end, and the Ford Theater Cross on the other.
For months the facilities manager asked me if I’d gone up to see his handywork. Because of scheduling (like the Seattle trip) I didn’t have time until last weekend. The view is spectacular. A benefit for this condo complex that didn’t even exist when we bought, but now features stunning views of the hollywood sign and reservoir, downtown Los Angeles, and on clear days all the way down the coast. Often hawks and other birds circle in the updrafts around you, enjoying the same view. Helicopters buzz overhead, taking tourists on expensive photo-tours to the sign.
My next goal is to hike from our house all the way to the Griffith Park Observatory (I believe the reservoir and Griffith Park are connected). July 4th should also be fun from up there.
(Also, since this was the next day after my car died, it was a nice counterpoint to that immensely stressful day)
Often hawks and other birds circle in the updrafts around you, enjoying the same view.