Monday, March 15, 2010

Testimonial Regarding Purchase at Tokyo Villa


Thursday, May 14, 2009

A List of My Websites

You can see a list of my various websites at:

Stephen May, Broker, Downtown Residential Real Estate

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Testimonial from Downtown Los Angeles Condo Buyer

Hi Stephen

Just wanted to say hi. It has been a long time since you help me purchase the Condo at Vista Montoya. That was an exceptional job you did.

Hope business has not dwindle too much because of the economy. I assume you still live over there at the edge of glendale.

I still get a post card from Dan once in awhile. Last I got a post card from him from Wells Fargo. I assume he is working for Wells Fargo.

Well, just wanted to say Hi. I remember you were a nice guy . And I remember you were gay.

You were a likeable person. If I was gay, we could be good friend . But I am not gay.

I search the internet for current real estate market condition and came across your name. And remembering that you were a nice person so I just wanted to say Hi.

Khuong Doan
Vista Montoya Condominiums
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Monday, January 19, 2009

Protest Rick Warren

I plan on being at the Inaugural Event at Nokia Plaza in Downtown L.A. starting at 8:00 AM with a sign that reads "BOOO!!! HOMOPHOBE Rick Warren". If anyone wants to join me, call me on my cell 213-804-3800. Stephen May

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Response to FP's post on

I'm sorry to read about FP's experience at Barry Lofts. I had a very similar experience, having bought two units, one my live/work, the other a rental-income investment, at another of Barry Shy's projects, the Bartlett Building. I sold the rental unit in 2006, and then decided to "trade up" in early 2007 and sold my second place at the Bartlett Building and bought a larger unit at Little Tokyo Lofts. I've been a real estate broker and Downtown condo specialist since 1989, so I know all the buildings and liked Little Tokyo Lofts the best. It now serves as the office of my company, Downtown Residential Real Estate, and my second home. I wrote an article about my "trade-up", which I'd be happy to email to you. I also publish a monthly eNewsletter with information and articles of interest about the Downtown condo and loft market. Call me at 213-221-4514 or email me at to receive the article or subscribe to my monthly eNewsletter. I also moderate a blog on which you can post comments on general or specific "downtown lofts" topics.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Trade Up? I Did!

This is my personal story. It's long and tedious. But it has a happy ending.

Last year, 2006, was my worst year in 17 years as a real estate agent. The way things are shaping up in 2007, pretty soon 2006 will have been my second-worst year. Anyway, I had to do something to pay my ongoing expenses, so I did what many people do in that situation...I sold a property I owned in which I had some equity (selling price minus loan payoffs minus transaction costs minus taxes equals equity). Specifically, I sold Bartlett Building Unit 908, which I had bought just 1 1/2 years before as an investment/rental income property. When I bought it in February 2005, I had no intention of selling so soon (I'm not a flipper-kinda-guy), but my circumstances changed.

At the same time as I had bought Unit 908, I had also bought Unit 1001 as a live/work, to serve as the office of my company, Downtown Residential Real Estate, and as my second home, my primary residence being the house I've owned with my partner in Atwater Village since 1991. When I sold Unit 908, I had no intention of selling Unit 1001. In fact, in January 2007, I paid my HOD (homeowner dues) for the entire year at one time with one check!

But since I'd sold #908 unexpectedly, I guess the "selling wheels" got set in motion and I started to think about using the equity I had in Unit 1001 to do the good-ole trade-up. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I really liked living in the Bartlett Building, but being close to retirement age, I thought I'd better get into the second home I wanted to be in for the rest of my life. I was fine with not having a deeded parking space, since I mostly get around by bike and public transportation. But for how long can an old codger ride a bike? Wouldn't it be nice to own a space for my BMW (trapped in the body of a Suzuki Swift)? And I love to swim and ruin my skin lying in the sun, so wouldn't it be lovely to have a condo with a pool? Also, a larger unit with a large closet would be a definite plus.

So, that's what I did. I sold my Unit 1001 at the Bartlett Building and bought a condo at Little Tokyo Lofts. I went from 850 square feet to 959 sf, I have a huge closet, use the pool and spa regularly, and have two deeded parking spaces, in one of which sits my car gathering dust, and the other of which I rent out.

But was this the right time to buy? Was it the right time to sell? For years I'd been telling my clients that when you're a buyer and seller at the same time, it doesn't matter whether it's a buyer's market or a seller's market. You're making out on one transaction, eating it on the other. It's a wash! So, I took my own advice and did what I tell my clients to do...I traded up. And the huge advantage to trading up Downtown at this time was that I had so many places to choose from. I got exactly what I wanted.

So, if you're currently an owner, and you're thinking of trading up, I'd say now is a very good time to do it. And I offer my experience, my full service (no discounts!), and my good advice to Sellers, Buyers, and Trader-uppers.