Interview: Raul Cruz, Owner, Legacy Private Funding

Here’s a guy that walks with a purpose, has a firm handshake, and I have yet to see without a smile on his face. Raul answered my questions in-between bites of his blueberry pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, and some kind of baked chicken sausage.


You got a reporter hat on.

It’s a fedora.

(Laugh)

How long have you lived in Los Angeles?

About forty-five years. My whole life.

What are your thoughts about the east side of Los Angeles, and how the neighborhoods are changing.

I think it’s the place to buy property now. It’s the hip place to live. Close to Pasadena and downtown LA.

What is it you do for a living?

My companies name is Legacy Private Funding. Finance deals for real estate investors who buy on the east side market like Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and Eagle Rock.
What do you mean by that?

People that buy-distressed property to fix, and then re-sell. Flippers. I get them the money to buy and sometimes I finance their construction loans.

Do you buy property yourself too?

I do. Occasionally.

And you rehab them or flip them?

Yes. It’s one in the same.

What neighborhoods on the east side are you concentrating on for your own projects? What do you think is the “ next hot spot”?

Echo Park and Silver Lake are still probably the best areas right now. Lincoln Heights and Boyle Heights are next.

Are you currently looking at any properties?

Yes. A multi-family off Glendale Blvd.

What’s the address?

I’ll tell you if I pass. It’s off market.

Do you have any advice for people that are considering selling their houses?

Now’s the perfect time to sell because there is very low inventory, and high demand. And you’ll probably get top dollar at this time.

Would you buy property cash if someone wanted to sell?

Sure. I have cash to buy homes. We buy properties in any condition every week.

Property owners would be smart to contact you directly?

They should contact you not me.

What are your favorite spots to hangout when you’re in Silver Lake?

The café at Sunset Junction is my favorite.

You mentioned that spot for breakfast this morning.

Yes I did and you didn’t want to drive that far.

That’s not true. It was easier to walk to Artisan House, and their latte’s are the best. Plus, the brunch buffet is incredible. You obviously like it.

Yes you’re correct there.  (Laugh)

What other neighborhood spots do you like in Silver Lake.

That’s the area you specialize. I should be asking you these questions.

That would be turning the interview around. But since you asked. Home restaurant isn’t bad. It’s across the street from my office on Hillhusrt. It reminds me of Urth Café less pretentious. I like the breakfast burrito & the ice coffee is out of control strong. In a good way.

Sign me up.

Lets talk about the new construction in Echo Park and Silver Lake. What do you see happening in the next twenty –four months?

You tell me. Lets both talk about it. What do you see happening?

I think it’s a very exciting time. I think developers are capitalizing on the gentrification of downtown. Primarily living in downtown Los Angeles are late twenties, thirties to fifties. Educated and earning over a hundred thousand a year per person per household. And most people work and walk and live their lives here. As their growing and marrying and some having children there aren’t educational options here so these people will be looking to buy and they are the targets. Just moving a stones throw away from downtown Los Angeles and they are qualified to buy this price point condo, apartment, townhouse in these types of new construction communities. And arguably have a better quality of life then in downtown.

Quality of life?

Grass under their feet for starters, and less human feces on the sidewalks.

Gotcha.