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4 Houses Will Travel If Buyers Have Lots

September 13, 1987|PATRICIA WARD BIEDERMAN | Times Staff Writer and

The empty house may lack curb appeal.

But the 60-year-old structure has other attractive selling features: three bedrooms, two baths, hardwood floors, French doors and an updated kitchen with ceramic tile.

And the price is unbeatable: It could be as low as $100.

The house is one of four in the 5600 block of Hollywood's Carlton Way which the Los Angeles Unified School District will sell to the highest bidder over $100 who can move the house to another location. In a city in which the median cost of a house is $143,220, that's a bargain even without a lot.

The district held an open house at the four buildings earlier this week, and more than 20 prospects showed up. If the district cannot find qualified buyers by Tuesday, the four houses, at 5600, 5642, 5646 and 5656 Carlton Way, will be demolished to allow expansion of crowded Grant Elementary School at 1530 N. Wilton Place.

According to Betty Willman, principal realty agent for the district, this is the first time the school district has held such a sale. The district paid $664,500 for the four houses and the lots where they now stand.

Ed Waller and Mary Ann Bates drove in from West Covina for the open house. They are real estate agents, they said, and they had their eye on 5624.

Possible Office

"I'd like to take this and make an office out of it," said Waller. "Most of the houses we deal with were built in the last 20 years, and you can really appreciate the workmanship that went into this one."

"It has a lot of character," Bates agreed.

"And you can't beat the financing," Waller added, laughing. "That makes it very attractive."

Waller said his one reservation about the house is the cost of moving it to the San Gabriel Valley. He said he had been told relocation would run about $50,000.

Estela Montesinos of Glendale was also concerned about relocation costs. She said she owns a lot in Palmdale and was curious to see what the district had to offer. But she doubted she would buy one of the homes. "They're so large I don't think it would be economical to move one to Palmdale."

As Raymond Nazari, a realty agent for the district explained, the houses are being sold "as is." In the case of one of the houses, a prospective buyer complained, the deal includes fleas.

According to Nazari, the sale of the houses would benefit the district even if they sell for very little.

As he pointed to one of the structures, he said: "If we were to tear this down, we would have to clear the land and that would be costly. But one of the terms of the agreement is that the buyer will clear the land and leave it level."

Buyers (who must prove that they own an appropriate lot at the time they make an offer) are required to move the houses within 60 days of acquiring them. The district hopes to complete the expansion of the elementary school by mid-1989.

Alex Miller, an architect who lives in the San Fernando Valley, didn't think any of the houses were right for him. His lot in Woodland Hills is in an area of relatively new ranch houses, and he didn't believe his neighbors would appreciate a 60-year-old structure in their midst.

"I'm just about convinced that I'm going to have to build," Miller said. "You can buy one of these houses for, say, $1,000. But you've got to put $50,000 into it to bring it up. And then what do you have? An old house!"

Wants Earlier Home

The age of the houses is a plus as far as Pastora Lacayo is concerned. She said she has an empty corner lot in a neighborhood of restored early 20th-Century homes in central Los Angeles and is looking for a vintage house to move to the site.

She was eyeing the two-story house at 5656, although she wasn't crazy about the anachronistically modern aluminum siding a former owner had installed.

"I'm looking for an earlier home that would be compatible with the others in the area," she said. "The lot is zoned R-4, and I want to prevent a developer from going in there and building an apartment building. I want to help retain the architectural integrity of the neighborhood."

Lacayo estimated that the two-story house could be moved to her site for between $10,000 and $20,000.

Asaline Washington toured the houses with her friend Mary Perkins.

Washington's lot is in West Los Angeles, and she said she was going to bid on 5642, the house that seemed to be the popular favorite. When Washington looked at the house, she saw possibilities, not peeling paint and a "No Trespassing" sign.

The district's Nazari assured her she could take the roses in the front yard with her if hers is the winning offer.

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