Home News When Los Angeles Slipped Out of Her Budget, She Looked East for More Space. Which Home Did She Choose?

When Los Angeles Slipped Out of Her Budget, She Looked East for More Space. Which Home Did She Choose?

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Like many Americans over the past few years, Roxanne Johnson realized she needed to move only after being forced to spend most of her time at home.

In late 2020, she started working in marketing for a film and television production company in a two-bedroom condominium in Winnetka, California, a diverse neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley about 25 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. was Her neighbors were noisy. the dog barked. To make matters worse, her building was dilapidated and her apartment was beginning to feel uncomfortably cramped.

“I zoomed out on my life so I was basically sitting on the couch motionless,” she said.

A self-described “real estate geek,” Johnson already had several apps on his smartphone that tracked the housing market. Before her pandemic, she loved visiting open houses with her mother and her grandfather. Her mother and her grandfather came on long visits from Ohio, where the only child, Ms. Johnson, grew up in a bitterly cold winter.

Johnson was usually sleeping on the sofa when his family visited. She wanted a place with more space and access to her ground floor for her grandfather, who is now 95 years old.

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“I really wanted to spend more time with them,” she said. “But I needed more bedrooms.”

She also coveted a garden of her own and a room that acted as a gym with space for weights, yoga mats and foam rollers.

As more Angelenos left the city to live in the suburbs, Johnson knew it would be difficult to buy a three-bedroom home anywhere nearby. “I didn’t have the money to go into the bidding war,” she said.

She considered homes in Arizona, Nevada, and even Ohio, but decided that moving away from work and friends would be more isolating. she said.

So she narrowed her search down to San Bernardino County and finally to the city of Upland, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. With a budget of about $525,000, Johnson turned to new developments in the area that are generally more affordable than existing homes.

Amanda Fallon of Johnson’s real estate agent, Re/Max Partners, said:

But before I could buy anything, I needed to sell my condo to get my down payment. Ms. Fallon introduced her to another of her Re/Max agents, and Ms. Johnson began the arduous task of selling and buying her at the same time.

“At the time, it was very competitive here, and most builders couldn’t accept buyers to sell their homes,” Fallon said.

Among her options:

Find out what happened next by answering the following two questions:

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