What can Los Angeles homebuyers expect to face in 2018? Rising prices and plenty of competition, according to real estate observers. That said, a thoughtful personal letter can make all the difference in winning and losing your dream home. Here’s one example.

Dear Homeowner,

We’re not sure if this letter will help you choose us over other buyers — but we figured it was worth a shot!

We are a thirty-something couple from the northeastern U.S. who have been married for more than a decade. We’ve been looking to settle in southern California ever since we realized it would be too unsettling to return to the East Coast’s wilting humidity, frigid winters, and snobbish disregard for 90-minute lunches.

We’ve rented since moving to Los Angeles and have been looking to buy property in your neighborhood for quite some time. We have struggled, however, to find a home that seems like a good fit for our family—one with just the right light, space, and character that reminds us of the practical curtains-and-tin-awning way of life we left behind but fits with the excessive sun-dappled California lifestyle we’ve come to love so much.

As soon as we pulled up to your 3×3 tandem-car driveway, we were both smiling—the dirt front yard indicated an impressive environmental awareness on your part (that pesky drought’s just not going away), and the shell-pink and aquamarine color combination made us feel so warm, fuzzy and tastefully superior inside. By the time we stepped onto the mildewy carpet, we were whispering to each other—“$80K to fix up, back on the market for $2 mil in the spring!”

You’ve nurtured your partial ocean-view lot into a true home—we can tell by the lemon tree (or are those green kumquats?) holding up the retaining wall in the backyard and your clever use of the wet bar as a clothes closet. From the black-and-white linoleum in the den through to the homey wood paneling in the kitchen (who needs an oven, really?), it’s so “us” it’s easy to imagine settling in and caring for the home as you clearly have.

By the way, our dog is named Flipper as well.

We also adore your home’s location between the town’s award-winning distinguished public schools and the bars and boutiques whose revenue from $2 well drinks and $25 cheese boards supports all that wonderful learning. We barely even noticed the incessant traffic noise coming from the Pacific Coast Highway during our visit, and we love that you can only actually see the road from the bay window on the second floor.

In the time that we plan to live here, we hope to fill the house with laughter, good conversation, and books about home remodeling on the cheap. The ambitious construction work going on at the double lot two doors away will provide a lovely accompaniment to the all-day barking of the beagle and Yorkshire terrier next door. Perhaps one day soon the work will be finished and a cantilevered roof deck will loom over your house in the most inviting and artful way. We can only hope that the cottage for sale across the street is destined for a similar multi-story fate.

We are keen to invest three decades of savings into your unique property and genuinely excited to put in our offer after looking for the perfect teardown for so long. We promise to respect the feelings of your surrounding neighbors and the flow of the street’s Queen Anne Gothic-meets-Italianate-Adobe architecture with the same sincerity that you did when you turned over your home to your Realtor with the command to “find the highest bidder.”

Thank you so much for reading this and considering our offer.

With sincerest regards,
The Buyers