Downtown LA Loft Dangers and Condo Conundrums: Buyer Beware

While it might be the most exciting place on Earth, Downtown is anything but perfect.


There are numerous unique issues affecting the Purchase or Leasing of Lofts, Condos, and Apartments in the Downtown Los Angeles area. Brokers and agents do not have legal expertise in such unique issues, and therefore, cannot advise buyers on many items, including but not limited to, Legal Issues, Tax Issues, and Physical Defect Issues. The following are some unique issues which a prospective Buyer or Lessee is encouraged to review with their own Attorney and/or Tax Advisor and/or Contractor/Structural Engineer. Below is list of some of the many possible issues that may impact the Ownership or Leasing of such properties.

Noise and Traffic Issues: The property may be affected by Noise and the inconvenience of Traffic as a result of the congestion in the Downtown Los Angeles area. Numerous Freeways also impact living in the Downtown Los Angeles area.

Air Quality: The air quality in the Downtown Los Angeles area is generally of less quality and more harmful than areas outside of the Downtown Los Angeles area as a result of Automobile Exhaust, Factory Pollution, etc.

Mills Act Properties: Certain properties in the Downtown Los Angeles area are affected by the Mills Act Historical Property Program which affects Property Taxes and also involves many Historic Preservation Restrictions.

Views: New building projects may block or alter the views of existing property in the Downtown Los Angeles area. Buyer/Renter cannot rely on the continuation of any particular view after the Purchase/Lease of any real property.

Public Transportation: Current and future public transportation projects may interfere with the quality of life in the Downtown Los Angeles area as a result of added Noise, Pollution, and Congestion.

Mixed Use Buildings: Many residential units such as “Lofts” and “Condominiums” are located in buildings that were originally built for Other Purposes. Other Purposes include Manufacturing, Warehouse, Retail, Office Space, and Other Uses. As such, there may be an Added Risk of Toxic Contamination in such residential units. Also, new businesses move into such buildings from time to time which may adversely affect the property value of the residential units.

Older Buildings: Many older buildings were converted into residential towers, and many of the Original Construction Defects remain if the developer did not correct such Original Defects. For example, Facades of some older buildings have fallen off, Foundations may be defective, Sound-Proofing is often inadequate, Roof Leakage, Asbestos found in original building areas, Elevators whose manufacturers do not honor the warranties, Floors shifting after construction completion, Bugs found in wood flooring, etc.

Developer Bankruptcy: There are cases in which Developers have filed for Bankruptcy after the sale of a building is completed and certain amenities were discontinued after a Buyer or Tenant has moved in. Broker and Agents generally can make no claims regarding a Developer’s reputation. Also, reputations of Developers can change over time and may affect the value of a building.

Inadequate Parking: Due to continued development in the Downtown Los Angeles Area, there is an overall problem with Inadequate Parking.

parking-structure-lumaParking and Storage Units: In addition to the information found in that form, it is important for the Buyer to verify with the Buyer’s own Attorney that Parking and Storage Areas are actually Deeded to and Owned by the Buyer upon the Close of Escrow. There have been situations where the Parking and/or Storage Area was not part of the Deeded Property to the Buyer and the Buyer lost use of the Parking and/or Storage Space because the Parking Structure, and/or Storage Area, etc., was Sold, Given or Transferred to others or Foreclosed upon.

Tax Savings in a Building that May Be Zoned “Partially Live and Partially Work”: Zoning of buildings may change over time. Brokers and Agents generally make no representations as to the Tax Savings a Buyer/Lessee may receive for Purchasing or Leasing a property in any type of Live/Work-Zoned Building or Tax Saving Zone. Brokers and Agents usually recommend that the Buyer/Lesse consult with appropriate professionals such as Attorneys and Tax Experts before Purchasing/Leasing any property if they expect to receive any Tax Savings as a result of Purchasing/Leasing any particular property.

Quality of Life: All of the above issues, including Cell Phone Towers or Hubs, High Crime Areas, Building Code Violations, Homeless People, Rescue Missions, etc., may all adversely impact the Buyer’s enjoyment of living in a Downtown Los Angeles Property. Brokers and Agents usually make no representation as to the Buyer’s/Lessee’s Personal Safety while living in a Downtown Los Angeles Property.

Code/Permit Issues: Current Building Renovations may not comply with all Building Codes, Rules, and Regulations. Downtown Los Angeles Living Units may or may not comply with Building Codes, Rules and Regulations. Brokers and Agents generally have not and will not verify any regulatory compliance of any Downtown Los Angeles unit.

luma-707Square Footage: Developers in the Downtown Los Angeles Area have often under reported or over reported the Square Footage of “Lofts” and “Condominiums”. Brokers and Agents generally have not and will not verify the Square Footage of any “Loft” or “Condominium”, or any living unit of any kind. Lofted Areas, Raised Bedrooms, and Build-Outs added or subdivided within the walls of a Loft or Condominium may increase or decrease Square Footage. The accuracy of Square Footage reported in the MLS, Website Ads, or other Media can vary, and must be always be checked by potential buyers and renters. Brokers and Agents usually make no representations that a Buyer/Lessee can legally add any Square Footage to a Loft, Condominium or any living unit.

Homeless People and Rescue Missions: There are many Homeless People and Rescue Missions in the Downtown Los Angeles Area. Homeless People are known to Sleep and/or otherwise Congregate next to Rescue Missions. Buying or Leasing a property in or near areas where Homeless People Sleep and/or otherwise Congregate can negatively affect the Value and Desirability of that property. There is a constant shift in the areas that the Homeless People Sleep and or otherwise Congregate. Brokers and Agents can make no representations as to where the Homeless People Sleep and or otherwise Congregate, and the affect that Buying or Leasing a property in an area that the Homeless People Sleep and/or otherwise Congregate or may in the future Sleep and/ or otherwise Congregate on the Value and Desirability of the property.

Buyers and lessee’s are strongly advised to investigate the legal issues, tax issues, and the condition and suitability of all aspects of the property.

All Downtown loft buildings have issues that prospective buyers want to be aware of. Think DTLA lofts are cool?  They are, but they’re all far from perfect.  Many have serious problems such as lawsuits and financing problems. Here’s just a few of the issues that buyers should know about:

Raw lofts Downtown LA

Raw lofts and fixers in Downtown LA

1100 Wilshire – Chase bank took over, messing up the lobby. Views may get blocked.
655 Hope – Claustrophobia. Windows don’t open. High HOA
Alta Lofts – Notice of claim. HOA getting ready to sue developer for construction defects.
Barker Block – Lawsuit. HOA suing developer for construction defects.
Bartlett Building – No parking space included.
Barn Lofts – Free street parking is going away.
Beacon Lofts – Nobody knows what it is. Usually no staff to be found.
Biscuit Company – No metro nearby. Getting hard for guests to park.
Bunker Hill Tower – High HOA dues. No washer-dryers in most units.
Concerto Lofts – No character. Nothing for sale.
Cornell Building – Most parking spaces are a block away in skid row.
Douglas Building – Most units have no parking. No guest parking.
Eastern Columbia – High HOA does.  Views being blocked.
Eckardt Building – Most parking spaces are a block away in skid row.
El Dorado Lofts – No amenities. Nobody knows what it is.
Elleven Lofts – No fitness center. Shares pool and courtyard with Luma.
Evo – Lawsuit. HOA suing developer for construction defects.
Flower Street Lofts – No views and losing views. HOA dues rising.
Glen Donald Building – Not in Downtown.
Gallery Lofts – Construction next door.  Mostly no views.
Grand Avenue Lofts – No character. No amenities.
Higgins Building – High HOA dues. No parking. No amenities.
Library Court – No character. Most have no views.
Little Tokyo Lofts – Homeless shelters next door.  Mental clinic in building.
Luma – Losing views. Glut. Expensive.

River House LA with balconies facing the river

River House LA with balconies facing the river

Market Lofts – No character. Unfriendly security. Water leak damage.
Metropolis Los Angeles – Not quite built yet.  Expensive.  China company.
Molino Lofts – Terrace problems.  Some units not updated.
Mura Condominiums – Not a loft. Oppressive rules.
Ocenwide Plaza – Not built yet. Might never be built.
Ostrich Farm Lofts – Far away.  Out in the tulies.
Pan American Building – Nothing for sale.  Nobody has heard of it.
Promenade Condominiums – The 80s called. They want it back. High HOA dues.
Promenade West – Expensive.  High HOA dues. Outdated.
Puerta Del Sol – Disrepair. Nothing to walk to.  Freeway. Black lung disease?
Ritz Carlton Residences – Expensive HOA. Mandatory valet parking.
Rowan Lofts – High HOA dues. Most have no views.
Santee Village – Most parking spaces are a block away in skid row.
Savoy Condominiums – Not s loft. No character. Some have no views.
SB Grand – Renters galore. HOA financials largely missing. Too many issues.
Skyline Condominiums – 1980 wants its condos back.
Sky Lofts – No pool. High HOA dues.
SL70 – Not in Downtown.
Teramachi Homes Senior Condos – Gotta be a senior.
Textile Building – Nothing really available.  Can’t lease it out.
Title Guarantee – Canceled.
Tokyo Villa Condominiums – 1979 wants its condo back. Weird koi pond courtyard.
Toy Factory – No metro nearby. Slowly losing its street parking. No guest parking.
Toy Warehouse – Noisy floors and thin ceilings.
Vero – Not in Downtown. No character. Most have no views. Security often disappears.



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Raw Lofts and Fixers in Downtown L.A.

Raw Lofts and Fixers in Downtown L.A.

About Lofts Downtown Los Angeles

Your Loft Sold GUARANTEED or I'll Buy It* Corey Chambers, REALTOR® (213) 880-9910 *by the end of the listing term at a price acceptable to the seller. Realty Source Inc. BRE#01889449
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