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LA's Growing Real Estate Success is Related to Beer

CA Real Estate LA Real Estate


by Lon Levin, guest blogger

Look, I'm not a big beer drinker, in fact I'm not even a small beer drinker. I do like a cold one now and then and I do know the difference between dark and light beer. So my interest is, ho-hum...until I read the article below that there is a correlation between upstart craft breweries and real estate.

In the article, it states "A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries." Well, there are now more than 30 craft breweries and brewpubs spread across the Los Angeles area, from the Antelope Valley to the South Bay, and many more are planning to open in the months and years to come.

"From ambitious production sites, such as Golden Road Brewing and Three Weavers Brewing, to neighborhood hangouts focused on small batch brews, including Highland Park Brewery and Ladyface Ale Companie, L.A.’s craft beer scene offers a wide variety of styles and environments. There are breweries focused on exploring the flavors of West Coast-style hoppy beers and breweries specializing in wood-aged sour brews; there also are world-class beers being made in L.A. that can stand next to the best from San Diego, Portland, Ore., and Denver."

Then there you have it, LA is happening and we have the real estate and the beer to prove it! Now, not tomorrow or the next day is the time to buy in Los Angeles. (I can help you with that lon.levin@sothebyshomes.com) So here's the story that excited me to blog about this phenomena (Posted in Book Reviews, by Meg White on February 25, 2016)

Usually I try to limit my reviews to books, but every once in awhile I’ll find an excellent real estate nugget inside a long-form article that I can’t help but share. That happened this week while reading the March 2016 issue of The Atlantic. In it, one of the magazine’s national correspondents, James Fallows, described what he learned about resilience after spending the last three years visiting small towns and modest cities around the United States in a single-engine plane.

In the dark days that lead up to a presidential election—wherein candidates inevitably benefit from pointing out all theways in which our country is failing—it can be tough to see the path to better times. That’s not the case for Fallows, however. He says that while many ordinary Americans he met were similarly pessimistic about the country at large, they generally felt their particular communities could claim a bright future aheaSo why, at a moment when Americans are feeling rather low, are small towns and cities thriving? In the course of his 54,000-mile journey, Fallows compiled an impressive list of traits that marked successful places, or at least areas that were on the mend from some pretty difficult circumstances. I encourage you to read the whole piece, as many of the patterns he picked out are both surprising and encouraging. But for our purposes, let’s look at just two of my favorites, shall we? The first, perhaps unsurprisingly, is real estate. Specifically, homes that are in the affordable range.

Here’s what Fallows has to say about the effect that has on a community:

"A great, underappreciated advantage of “everywhere else” in America: The real estate is cheap. In New York, San Francisco, in a half dozen other cities, everything about life is slave to hyper-expensive real estate. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota; in Allentown, Pennsylvania; in inland California; across the south, costs are comparatively low. This has an effect—on how much you have to work, on what you think you need, on the risks you can take. Every calculation—the cash flow you must maintain, the life balance you can work toward—is different when a very nice family house costs a few hundred thousand dollars rather than a few million."

…In Fresno, Heather Parish, the publicity director of a successful arts festival called the Rogue, said that cheap real estate would be the basis for the city’s artistic future. “Fresno is the bohemia of California,” she told us when we visited. “That’s because you can afford to live here!”

Of course, this revelation is nothing new for the real estate industry. But coming from a publication that has established itself as a deep thinker on the future of cities, I take it as a good sign. Perhaps it will give some permission to tone down worries over slow home price appreciation in their individual communities and appreciate the silver lining of affordable homes.

And how about the gold lining I promised in my headline? Yes, the very last—and perhaps most certain, if you read it closely—of Fallows’ “11 signs a city will succeed” is related to beer. And as a homebrewing author myself, I couldn’t let that pass without note:

"One final marker, perhaps the most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries, and probably some small distilleries too… A town that has craft breweries also has a certain kind of entrepreneur, and a critical mass of mainly young (except for me) customers. You may think I’m joking, but just try to find an exception."


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