What $500,000 buys in five L.A. communities

The Los Angeles real estate market may be historically hot, but there are still a few deals out there — if you know where to look. Here are five homes scattered across the city that are on the market for $500,000. That’s well below the Los Angeles County median price of $775,000 in May, according to data firm DQNews.

Vermont Square

One of L.A.’s densest neighborhoods, Vermont Square fits more than 40,000 residents into about 2.5 square miles. There are plenty of colorful bungalows up for grabs from $400,000 to $800,000, and the community also houses the Vermont Square Branch Library — a 108-year-old cream-colored structure built with a grant from Andrew Carnegie that enjoys a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Small house with stairs and grass in front

615 W. 50th St., Los Angeles, 90037

(Dennis Carlson)

The house: Toeing the line between Craftsman and bungalow, this single-story spot draws the eye with a covered front porch wrapped in warm wood. Just about everything is new inside, including the floors, paint, lighting and air conditioning.

The address: 615 W. 50th St., Los Angeles, 90037

The price: $539,000

The specs: Two bedrooms and two bathrooms in 870 square feet

The agent: Kevin Messiha of Keller Williams Downtown L.A.

Harvard Heights

Harvard Heights lies within a historic overlay zone, which protects its healthy stock of houses built in the 1910s and 1920s. This home is the cheapest single-family option currently listed in the neighborhood; most sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

House with large door and walkway at left

1142 S. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles, 90006

(Megan Husri and Hank Stahlecker)

The house: This place is cozy at a little more than 500 square feet but still fits in a renovated kitchen, breakfast bar, living room and two bedrooms, one of which could be converted into a bonus room. Location is the draw here as the small bungalow sits just south of Koreatown near Western Avenue.

The address: 1142 S. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles, 90006

The price: $495,000

The specs: Two bedrooms and one bathroom in 518 square feet

The agent: Tiffany Chin of Keller Williams Larchmont


Sylmar marks the top of Los Angeles. The northernmost neighborhood in the city, it sits at the foot of Tujunga Canyon and enjoys plenty of parks and trails that take advantage of the open space. It’s possible to go cheap with a handful of manufactured homes on the market for $100,000 to $200,000. Single-family homes start at around $500,000.

House with large garage door. If front are grass at left with driveway at right

13911 Fenton Ave., Sylmar, 91342

(Daniel Dilanian)

The house: This single-story townhouse with no shared walls is tucked in Heartland, a community of 52 homes in the scenic foothills of Sylmar. The $440 monthly HOA dues cover maintenance, landscaping and insurance and also get you access to the community pool and tennis court.

The address: 13911 Fenton Ave., Sylmar, 91342

The price: $499,900

The specs: Two bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,148 square feet

The agent: Raquel Magro of Pinnacle Estate Properties

East L.A.

There’s so much to see in East L.A.: the Golden Gate Theater, the Maravilla Handball Court and the oft-overlooked Latino Walk of Fame, a collection of sundial-like medallions that commemorate Latino legends such as Cesar Chavez, Graciela Beltran and José José. There are plenty of homes on the market for around $500,000, and higher-end options are available in the $700,000 range.

House with shade structure in front

4251 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles, 90063

(Won Suk Kim Real Estate)

The house: Billed as a starter home, this turnkey residence comes with recessed lighting, brand-new appliances and fresh coats of paint both inside and out. Indoor space is scarce at less than 450 square feet, but there’s plenty of room on the 3,800-square-foot lot, complete with a patio, pergola and fenced backyard with a storage shed.

The address: 4251 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles, 90063

The price: $499,000

The specs: Two bedrooms and one bathroom in 448 square feet

The agent: Wonnie Kim of Won Suk Kim Real Estate

Vermont Vista

One of 28 neighborhoods in South L.A., Vermont Vista is a long, narrow stretch of city that borders the 110 Freeway. Homes there are relatively affordable; of the seven properties currently on the market, all are $600,000 or less.

Small house with porch

200 W. 107th St., Los Angeles, 90003

(LA 360 Photography)

The house: The largest place on the list, this three-bedroom home on a corner lot has a few surprises inside, including a rock-wall living room and crimson-tile bathroom. There’s some curb appeal as well, as a brick front porch offsets the bright-blue exterior.

The address: 200 W. 107th St., Los Angeles, 90003

The price: $490,000

The specs: Three bedrooms and three bathrooms in 1,300 square feet

The agent: Louis Digonzini of the Digonzini Group.