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restoration & renovation booming in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Busines Journal tells us that old-home restoration in LA is a booming business, largely untouched by the problems that have hit home resellers and new home builders. Perhaps this is because more and more people are nesting - settling in to spend more years at homes they might have sold in previous years - and are taking renovation (and, in historical homes, restoration) much more seriously as long-term investments than they would have before. Flippers see restoration as something to be done cheaply, on the surface, for quick return; people who live in neighborhoods and care about their own quality of life and that of the area see it as an investment to be done right. Read Daniel Miller's full article:

Times are slow in the housing market, but it would be hard to tell by following Kevin Kuzma through a typical day.

The historic home restoration consultant is busy from early morning to evening, picking up raw materials, visiting construction sites, doing estimates and meeting with clients.

“It’s gotten busier and busier. I haven’t felt any slow down,” said Kuzma, whose Revival Arts Restoration business is based in his Angelino Heights home.

Ditto that for folks like Ron Radziner, principal at Los Angeles architecture firm Marmol Radziner and Associates, which specializes in restoration and new custom residential homes.

Or Charles Fisher, who has built a busy business helping owners of historic homes qualify for coveted tax breaks that can lower a state property tax bill by up to 80 percent.

Builders may be practically giving away homes in far-flung Los Angeles County subdivisions amid slow sales all around, but there’s one corner of the housing market that so far has been immune from it all.

Historic homes in architectural styles such as Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco have all grown in popularity in recent years. What’s more, an increased interest in famed 20th century architects has led to a blossoming of the cottage industry that services and sells historic homes by renowned figures such as Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright and John Lautner.