Location: Echo Park, Los Angeles
Year built: 1926
Specs: 2 beds, 1 bath, 1,010 square feet, 0.1 acres
Days on market: 71
What’s going on with this seemingly perfect Echo Park house? It’s a relatively reasonable ask for a home in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in L.A. — the median price of single-family homes in the area is $968,000, according to CoreLogic — where, even in a pandemic, popular properties often get offers within 15 days.
Built in 1926 and renovated in the last year, the little Spanish-style bungalow comes with a fireplace plated in coveted Batchelder tiles, hardwood floors, coved ceilings, arched entryways, a large yard, and rare views of Echo Park Lake. The admittedly modest kitchen has been updated with new cabinets, countertops, and appliances; the bathroom features geometric tile floors and subway tile walls. (Some folks might be discouraged by the fact that the house only has one bathroom, but it’s a common setup for smaller two-bedroom houses around the city.)
Usually, Google Street View can help explain why a home in a desirable spot (especially one that’s priced below seven figures and isn’t falling apart) has not sold quickly: It’s next-door to an auto repair shop, say, or butts up against a freeway, or is positioned precariously on a hill and looks like it might easily slide to its demise in the next earthquake. But I checked out 1715 Kent Street on the map and could find nothing of the sort.
When Google did not deliver clear answers, I decided to actually tour the house and can now confirm definitively that this bungalow is as adorable in real life as it appears in the listing — except for one catch: There’s no dedicated parking. The house is located just below where Kent Street dead-ends and can only be reached by a short flight of concrete stairs off the street (an accessibility issue, to be sure). This narrow path continues past the house and down to Glendale Boulevard, which runs along Echo Park Lake. Echo Park has more than two dozen such so-called “stair streets,” which, as the local historical society explains, are “concrete reminders of a neighborhood designed before the automobile became the dominant form of transportation.”
Google Maps did, in fact, show this — I just hadn’t considered it to be a problem. The property is walking distance from bars and restaurants on Sunset Boulevard as well as bus lines that will take you down through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and West L.A. Plus, even though the house has no garage, it does have a lower level that could be used for storage or converted into an ADU. And, if you do have a car, there is street parking in the neighborhood — though you might be competing with residents of older, also garage-less apartment buildings in the area.
According to the agent, the lack of dedicated parking has, in fact, deterred some buyers. But for the Angeleno who loves public transit and walking or, say, an NYC transplant (I know you’re reading), this is your Echo Park dream.