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Robyn & Lukas: Pandemic homebuyers

Meet Robyn & Lukas — finance professionals and first time home buyers

Goal: Add space for parents to visit & create opportunity for rental income

“We knew we wanted an ADU but it was such a daunting task. Without Realm, we would have pushed off the project forever but they made it so easy for us to get started.”

Robyn & Lukas bought their home last June. After being holed up in their 2 bedroom apartment in Los Feliz at the beginning of the pandemic, they decided it was time to finally pull the trigger on buying a home. They saw 20 properties in a month and a half before settling on a 3-bed, 2-bath home in Leimert Park. They fell in love with the open concept layout, the 1909 charm on the outside, and the view of the palm trees at sunset from the front porch.

As they were touring homes, they saw a lot of properties with ADUs (aka backyard homes). Robyn was set on the idea of adding one to their property to have space for her mom to visit from out of town and to give the couple an opportunity to generate rental income to help cover the mortgage. But she had no clue where to start with the process, until she found Realm.

“We’re both very busy with work. Realm’s neighborhood report helped us hone in on exactly what type of ADU we wanted—Like, does it make sense to do a one bedroom or not do a one bedroom?—Then almost immediately after, we had the contractors come out which was super easy to schedule through Realm. It was almost no work for us at all.”

In addition to helping the couple navigate ADU size, cost and build method, Realm also helped them to understand what local regulations allowed on the property, how much rental income they could expect and how to navigate financing for the project. “We had no idea the different ways we could get loans. Realm taught us how we could refinance the ADU into our existing mortgage payment.”

The project is well underway. Last week, they finalized the floor plans and soon they’ll be kicking off construction and are expecting to finish the build by Fall 2021. Like all homeowners, they’re already thinking ahead to their next project.

“After we finish our ADU, we want to make our landscaping more eco-friendly. We currently have a sprinkler system but want to convert to a drought friendly landscaping system. We’re planning to use Realm again to help us with that project.”

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